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D DDD1 45OT7itti 5 















Copyright, 1911, by 

Published October, 1911 




C. C. 




it PEE-RENAISSANCE AET .......... 15 




vi THE Rococo ............. 68 

vn REVOLUTION . . ........... 91 

rx LE JUSTE-MILIEU ........... 120 


xi MILLET AND SOME, OTHEES ......... 149 

xn REALISM G. COUEBET .......... 160 

xni MANET AND IMPEESSIONISM ........ . 166 

xiv RENOIE ............... 180 

xv NEO-!MPEESSIONISM ........... 183 

xvi PENTTMBEA . . ............ 188 

xvn Puvis DE CHAVANNES ...... * . . , 195 

xvni LA FIN DE SEECLE ............ 202 

xix HENEI MATISSE ............ 211 

xx PAUL CEZANNE ............ 217 


PORTRAIT OF FRANCIS I . . , Jean Clouet . Frontispiece 


THE DEPOSITION ..... Unknown Master of the 

XV Century ... 20 

PIETA School of Avignon . . 29 

PORTRAIT OP CHARLES VII . . Jean Foucquet ... 34 

DIANA School of Fontainebleau 47 

PORTRAIT or BossuET .... Hyaclnfhe Eigaud . . 58 

"Ex EGO IN ARCADIA" . . . Nicolas Poussin ... 65 


TARSUS Claude Lorrain . . . 6B 

GIIXES ... Jean Antoine Wattea/u, 79 

LA MAITRESSE D'ECOLE . . . Jean Honore Fragonard 80 

PBINCESSE IE CONDE AS DIANA Jean Marc Nattier . . 87 

MOTHER AND SON . . . . . Jean Baptiste CTia/rdin . 90 

By courtesy of Franz Hanfstaengl. 

PORTRAIT OF MADAME RECAMIER Jacques Lou%$ David . 97> 
PORTRAIT OF MADAME RECAMIER Franpois Pascal Gerard 100 

PORTRAIT OF MADAME RIVIERE . Jean August e Dominique 

Ingres 109 




MASSACRE OF CHIOS .... Eugene Delacroix . 

LES AVOCATS ...... Honore Daumier . .117 

NIGHT PATROL, AT SMYRNA . . Alexandre Decamps 


From a photograph by Braun, Clement & Cie. 


SUNSET ....... Rousseau ..... 141 

From a photograph by Braun, Clement & Cie. 

THE SOWER ...... Jean Franyois Millet . 151 

THE PROCESSION ..... Lucien Simon . . . 154 

GOING TO CHURCH ..... Charles Cottet . . . 158 

LE REVEIL ....... Gustave Courbet . . 161 

THE GUITARIST ...... Edouard Manet . . . 164 

THE DANCING LESSON . . . Degas ...... 173 

POPLARS ........ Claude Monet . . . 176 

LA LOGE ........ Pierre Auguste Renoir . 180 

BATHING ........ George Seurat . . . 183 

LANDSCAPE ....... Paul Signac .... 186 

THE BATHERS ...... l5mile Rene Menard . .189 

PORTRAIT OF EDOUARD MANET . Henri Fantvn-Latour . 193 

MATERNITE . ...... Eugene Carriere . . . 194 

INTER ARTES ET NATURAM . . Puvis de Chavannes . . 197 

From a photograph by Braun, Clement & Cie. 



DECORATION ....... Maurice Denis . . . 

THE APPARITION ..... Gustave Moreau . . . 207 

PORTRAIT or MI/LE. REJANE . Besnard ..... 208 

TAHITI ........ Paul Gauguin . . . . 210 

STUDY OF A WOMAN .... Henri Matisse . . . 213 

LANDSCAPE ....... Paul Cezanne . . . 220 

For permission to reproduce certain of the pictures the 
Author extends his thanks to 

The Metropolitan Museum, New York. 

The Art Institute, Chicago. 

Durand-Ruel et fils. 


WHILE this book discusses a number of indi- 
vidual painters, it makes no pretension to ency- 
clopedic completeness. It is primarily concerned with 
principles. It aims to trace the evolution of French 
paintiiig as it has been affected by outside influences 
and has been shaped by the genius of the French race. 
Nor does it view the subject as an isolated phenomenon 
of French culture. It aims to correlate the growth of 
French painting with the changes in the social and 
political life of the nation and with the manifestations 
of the esprit gaulois in other departments of intellectual 
and artistic activity, particularly in that of literature. 

For as a leader in intellectual and artistic culture 
France has maintained her ascendancy since the begin- 
ning of the sixteenth century. ? Paris during the late 
century has been to the modern world the clearing- 
house of artistic methods and ideals. 

The Story of French Painting is, therefore, in a large 
measure the recapitulation of the varying motives and 
methods of painting in the modern world. It has a 



special interest for us in America, since our painters 
are handing on to others the principles which they 
derived from their studentship in Paris. It is true that 
there is an attempt to substitute for the influence of 
Paris that of Rome, where an American School of Fine 
Arts has been established. But this is, I venture to 
believe, a reactionary move; a grasping of the dead 
hand of the Italian Renaissance instead of a living 
companionship with what is alive in modern progress. 

The latter involves, it is to be admitted, much that is 
intellectually and artistically confused and tentative. 
But the student is himself a part of the progress and 
must face the issue and assist in clearing its confusion 
and establishing it on a basis of stability and permanence. 
He cannot, if he is alive to the modern spirit, afford to 
play the ostrich. 

It goes without saying, however, that the part of the 
story most difficult to write and to estimate deals with 
the manifestations of the near present, which as yet we 
are compelled to view without the advantage cjf a 
lengthened perspective. How far these manifestations 
represent elements of vital growth and embody some- 
thing durable and sound amid the flux of change must, 
in the nature of the case, be largely a matter of conjecture. 

There is no finality in human development ; therefore 
a story such as this must necessarily conclude with a 
ragged edge. It can but bring up to date the unfinished 



recital of French development ; the latest chapter in the 
life of a nation that is still very much alive and is moving 
with the times ; that has its roots in a long past of its 
own and is a-quiver with the modern spirit. 

For the French have been the only race since the 
Italians of the Renaissance and the Greeks of antiquity 
to whom art in its various forms is a natural and inevit- 
able expression of what is for the time being their 
attitude toward life. 

New York, 

September, 1911. 





fTTlHE accession of Francis I in 1515 presents a 
I convenient starting point for the study of 
JL French painting provided one looks back as well 
as forward. For it was at this period of coming into 
touch with the Italian Renaissance that modern France 
emerged from medievalism. On the other hand, it 
must not he overlooked that there was a vigorous 
growth of French painting before the arrival of Italian 
influence and that the latter, while it stimulated, never 
submerged the French genius. France indeed, through 
all the vicissitudes of her development, has preserved 
her Northern rather than her Mediterranean traits. 

For the French nation has been too exclusively iden- 
tified with the Latin race. It is true that the French 
language has its roots in the Latin; that the Roman oc- 
cupation left an indelible mark upon the race and its in- 
stitutions, particularly in the South, and that after the 
fall of the Roman Empire the Roman Catholic Church 
preserved the tradition of Latin civilization. But the 


forms of the language, its idioms, and essential spirit 
are non-Latin, while very far from being undiluted 
Latin, is the race itself* 

The race, originally Celtic and Ligurian, had been 
infused with Gallic, and nearly six centuries before the 
appearance of Caesar, Marseilles and other Greek 
colonies had been planted along the shores of the 
Mediterranean. It was with this already mixed 
strain that during the first four hundred years of the 
Christian era the Latin blood was mingled. Then fol- 
lowed successive invasions of German tribes, Franks, 
Allemans, Goths, and Burgundians. 

In 485 Clovis the Frank established dominion over a 
large number of these rival tribes and founded 
the French monarchy. This so-called Merovingian 
dynasty persisted for two hundred and sixty-seven 
years. Then, the last of its enfeebled kings yielding 
to the increased authority of the Mayors of the 
Palace, Pepin founded the Carlovingian dynasty, 
which reached its zenith under his son Charlemagne. 
The latter's ambitions were imperial and resulted in an 
empire which extended east and west of the Rhine. 
It did not, however, long survive his death. Under 
the rule of his son and successor, Louis the Pious, the 
process of disintegration began. Rollo the Dane and 
his Northmen established the Dukedom of Normandy. 
Meanwhile, the stronger German element began to 
gravitate across the Rhine to the east, consolidating 
a German empire and leaving a residuum that in lan- 
guage, customs and government grew to be distin- 
guishably French. Finally, in 987, Hugh Capet, Duke 


of Paris, established a supremacy over the other duke- 
doms into which France had become divided and founded 
the Capetian, or third French dynasty. This was some 
five hundred years later than the original invasion of the 
Germanic tribes. 

Racially, therefore, as the French historian M. R. 
de Maulde la Claviere observes, "France is a singular 
country. We are slightly Greek, half Latin or Li- 
gurian, very Gallic or very German, and in the West, 
the country of an intellectual gulf -stream, we are 
dreamers Celts." 

Hugh Capet, as Duke of the Royal Domain, which 
extended northward from Paris as far as Amiens and 
southward to Orleans, was a peer among his equals, - 
who at the time numbered one hundred and fifty dukes, 
counts and barons. Their fiefs, which had become he- 
reditary, were independent, yet mutually bound to- 
gether by the complicated network of suzerainty and 
vassalage of the Feudal System. The most important 
included, along the shore of the Channel, Brittany, 
Normandy and Flanders, the last extending to the 
Rhine; on the East, Burgundy; on the West, Anjou, 
Poitou and Aquitaine; and in the South, Auvergne, 
Gascony, Toulouse and Provence. Geographically di- 
vided into two sections by the course of the Loire, the 
Southern part, superior at this time in civilization, was 
distinguished by their use of the Langue df Oc> while 
the Langue df Oil obtained in the North. The distinc- 
tion was derived from corruptions of the Latin words, 
hoc and hoc-illud, which were respectively employed as 


terms of affirmation. The Langue d* Oc, while it ad- 
mitted many varieties of dialect, remained closer to its 
Latin origin in vowel sounds, inflections and vocabulary 
and generally was softer, more harmonious and cun- 
ningly cadenced than the Northern French. The lat- 
ter, on the other hand, excelled in vigor, variety and 
freshness (Saintsbury) : qualities that fitted it to grow 
with the development <Jf the nation, until it has become 
the language of modern France. 

The determining influences of the Capetian dynasty 
were the Crusades and the institution of Chivalry. 
Under the influence of a moral ideal and bound to- 
gether by sentiments of honor and fraternity, the no- 
bility were less disposed to internecine rivalry, and cul- 
tivated habits of courtesy and respect for women which 
ameliorated the conditions of society. The immense 
preparations demanded by the Crusades encouraged the 
trades and handicrafts, while the actual expeditions 
tended to bring the West into contact with the older 
civilization of the East and to hasten the revival of 
classic learning. .Further, the huge loss of life drained 
the power of the nobility, until it ceased to be so formid- 
able a menace alike to the authority of the Crown and 
to the growing freedom of the cities. Meanwhile, the 
bulk of the population was in abject serfdom, so that 
the country was able to offer little resistance to the 
encroachments of the English. The rivalry of Ed- 
ward III with Philip VI, first king of the House of 
Valois, started the Hundred Years' War (1340-1453), 
which depleted what was left of French chivalry and 
brought protracted disaster to the whole community, 


until finally the tide of victory was turned by the mystic 
heroism of the Maid of Orleans. 

The Feudal System, which the circumstances of war 
had disintegrated, received its quietus from Louis XI 
(1461-1483)* By direct attack and the indirect as- 
saults of diplomacy he wore down a condition of society 
which had served its time and was now only a hindrance 
to peace, order and sound government. As a counter- 
poise to the power of the barons he "created parliaments 
at Grenoble, Bordeaux and Dijon; multiplied appeals 
to the King's Court against sentences pronounced by 
the feudal tribunals,, retained existing provincial as- 
semblies and created new ones; sanctioned free elec- 
tion of magistrates, and granted to the bourgeoisie 
privileges which enabled them to hold their own against 
the barons." He also encouraged manufactures, in- 
dustries and commerce. Upon his deathbed he con- 
fided his son and heir, Charles VIII, a boy of thirteen, 
to the care of his daughter Anne of Beaujeu. The 
latter was only twenty-three years of age, but, as her 
father used to say of her, "She is the least foolish 
woman in the world; for there is no such person as a 

wise one/* 

Of the events of Charles's reign it is sufficient to re- 
call that he married Anne of Brittany, thus uniting 
the duchy of Brittany and that of Anjou to the French 
Crown, and accepted the invitation made to him by 
some of the enemies of Pope Alexander VI to invade 
Italy. The foreign entanglement was carried forward 
by his grand-nephew and successor Louis XII, who 
also married his uncle's widow, Anne of Brittany. 


While the king thus laid the trail that brought France 
into contact with Italian culture, and by economies at 
home and encouragement of peace and commerce pre- 
pared the country to benefit by the new impulses, his 
queen contributed to the growth of a gentler and more 
refined influence by establishing a court at which women 
for the first time appeared in society. Henceforth the 
feminine equation enters conspicuously into the actual 
government of France as well as into the story of her 
artistic development. With the exception of the 
period of masculine domination during the vigorous 
rule of Louis XIV, before he succumbed to the sway 
of Madame de Maintenon, feminine influence in the 
various forms of wife, queen-mother, mistress or leader 
of a salon, predominated until the end of the eighteenth 

That it made its appearance at the close of the 
medieval period is natural enough, since the causes 
which made for the breaking up of the feudal system 
must have long contributed to the independence and 
efficiency of the women. During their husbands' ab- 
sence from home in the wars and the minority of their 
fatherless sons, they would be compelled to under- 
take the management of the estate, and even the dis- 
pensing of justice. Under such circumstances thou- 
sands of women, unknown to fame, must have been 
entitled to Brantome's description of Anne of Beaujeu 
as "the cleverest and ablest lady that ever was"; while 
many must have solaced their loneliness with study, as 
did Anne of Brittany, "who understood Latin and a 
little Greek." To extend the opportunity of intellectual 


culture to other women was partly, no doubt, her mo- 
tive in assembling at court the younger ladies of noble 
families. Similarly, in the succeeding reign of Francis 
I, woman's influence was decisive. His mother, Louise 
of Savoy, had reared him as befitted a gallant knight 
rather than a monarch. He was trained in the code of 
chivalry and of heroic ideals by familiarity with the 
poetic romances of the Chansons de Gestes. His thirst 
for glory, in consequence, exceeded his capacity for 
war. He failed in his military adventures, but was the 
center of an elegant and gallant court. Meanwhile his 
sister, Margaret of Navarre or Angouleme, was in- 
tellectually his superior. During his captivity in 
Spain, following the defeat at Pavia, she handled the 
reins of government; and after her brother's restoration 
established a court of her own at Nerac, which rivaled 
the esprit and splendor of those at Fountainebleau and 
the Louvre. Here she reigned as queen over a little 
kingdom of arts and letters; encouraging native 
scholars and poets as well as offering hospitality to 
Italians; nurturing a spirit of catholic tolerance by ex- 
tending honor alike to Calvin and Boccaccio, and con- 
tributing with her own pen to poetry and prose and 
even to morality plays and farces. Her poems, collected 
under the title, Les Marguerites de la Marguerite 
la Princes$e> rank her among the poets of the time, 
second only to Clement Marot, whom she befriended 
when he was being pursued by the Church for the 
freedom of his expressions; while she not only caused 
the Decameron to be translated into French, but her- 
self composed a heptameron, which comprised fifteen 


novelettes on the model of Boccaccio's. She was, in- 
deed, a very vital influence in stimulating and directing 

the beginnings of the French Renaissance. 


It must be remembered, however, that while contact 
with Italian culture brought about a renaissance in 
France, the latter country was no stranger to learning 
or to arts and letters. The eleventh, twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries the period also distinguished by 
the extent and perfection of cathedral and church 
building had produced the epic poems, Chansons de 
Gestes. The most famous is the Chanson de Roland* 
based on the exploits of Charlemagne, though dignify- 
ing Roland even more than the emperor. Again, to- 
ward the end of the twelfth century appeared the 
French version of the Arthurian legend, originally 
written in nervous, picturesque prose, but later versified 
by Chrestien de Troyes, some of whose poems, as 
Saintsbury says, "are deeply imbued with religious 
mysticism, passionate gallantry and refined courtesy 
of manners." So far, however, a spirit distinguishably 
French is not represented. The Chansons de Gestes 
are Teutonic, probably in origin and certainly in 
genius; the Arthurian legends are tinged with the 
Celtic and Byzantine, while the Proven9al poetry is 
rather akin to the temperament and character of Span- 
ish and Italian literature. Moreover, all these forms 
have a quality of artificiality and are the expressions of 
courtly and knightly society and not of the nation at 
large. The latter was for the first time represented 
in the Fabliaux which were produced from the latter 


half of the twelfth to the latter part of the fourteenth 
centuries. They have been defined as "a recital, for 
the most part comic, of an adventure real or possible, 
which occurs in the ordinary conditions of human life." 
In fact the esprit gaulois makes its first appearance in 
the mocking raillery of these ludicrous presentations 
of life and humanity. The chief target for their 
scoffing is the weakness of the female sex and the 
frailty of the clergy; though all classes, knights, 
burghers, peasants, come in for their share of ridicule. 
Their popularity passed over into Italy and England, 
where Boccaccio and Chaucer imitated them. From 
Italy they return to France in a Renaissance guise; 
while the most famous of these, the Roman du Re- 
nart, wherein the characters are animals and birds, 
received a brilliant transformation in the Contes of La 
Fontaine, and quite recently in the Chantecler of M. 

Akin to the mocking tone of the Fabliaux are the 
satirical lyrics of Adam de la Halle and Ruteboeuf. 
On the other hand verse was the medium for serious 
historical themes, as in the Roman de Rou (Rollo) 
by Wace, and for a moral story in allegorical guise, 
as in the very famous Roman de la Rose. This poem 
of twenty thousand lines relates the poet's dream. He 
walks abroad on a fair May morning until he reaches 
a garden. Upon the walls are painted the figures of 
Hatred, Covetousness, Avarice, Envy, Sadness, Old 
Age and Poverty. Dame Leisure admits him through 
a barred wicket and introduces him to Courtesy, who 
invites him to join the company of singers and dancers 


in the train of Delight. Wandering* toward the 
Fountain of Narcissus he espies a Rosebud and covets 
it. But thorns and thistles bar his approach and the 
God of Love pierces him with an arrow. Finally after 
many rebuffs he is permitted by Venus to kiss the Rose- 
bud; whereupon Shame and Jealousy conspire against 
him and he is driven from the Garden. So far the 
poem was written by one William de Loiris, It was 
continued by Jean de Meung, who introduced a coarser 
vein of satirical observation, descanting upon the ways 
of women and the subject of morality, and citing in- 
numerable examples from sacred and secular writings. 

The taste for allegory and didactic moralizing en- 
gendered by the popularity of this poem, found speedy 
expression in the Morality plays; for the step from 
narrative form to one in which the characters speak in 
propria persona was easy and natural. Far earlier than 
these, however, had been the Mystery and Miracle plays ; 
the former dealing with the Life and Passion of the 
Saviour and with events and personages of the Old Tes- 
tament, the latter with the lives of the Virgin and Saints. 
Originally presented in the church or cathedral by the 
clergy, they outgrew the limitations of the sacred ed- 
ifice and passed into the hands of the laity; becoming 
occasions of local importance, presided over by the sev- 
eral guilds of trades. Finally regular societies of ac- 
tors were formed for their representation, among which 
the earliest and most famous was the Confraternity of 
the Passion, licensed in Paris in 1402. 

Meanwhile, even before the arrival of the Moralities 
a secular drama made its appearance. To Adam de 


la Halle is credited the earliest known comedy in the 
vulgar tongue, and the earliest specimen of comic opera* 
In Li Jus de la Feuille, the author relates his 
own troubles with his wife and satirizes other citizens 
of his native town. Arras, while the plot of Robin and 
Manon represents a dramatized form of the popular 
romantic love poems, known as Pastourelles. Also re- 
lated to the Fabliaux? are the Farces which become so 
characteristic a feature of the French drama. The 
most famous is that of Paihelin, which survived the 
Renaissance, was included in 1706 in the repertoire of 
the Theatre Fran9ais and was acted in Paris so recently 
as 1872. For the performance of farces the clerks of 
the law courts had organized themselves into a company, 
licensed by the Crown, known as La Bazoche du 
Palais; while various Fool-Companies, among which 
Les Enfants Sans Soud were conspicuous, devoted 
themselves to that peculiar form of farce known as the 
Sottie. It dealt in political satire and was performed 
by typical Fool characters, such as Prince des Sots 
(the leader of the company) , Mere Sotte and the like. 
The most famous Mere Sotte, both as author and actor 
was Pierre Gringoire, who also composed a mystery 
and a morality for the trades guilds to perform and 
was Master of the Revels on the occasion of official 
pageants. Flourishing under Louis XII, Ms popu- 
larity continued into the reign of Francis I, notwith- 
standing the latter's dislike of the freedom of the Sottie, 
and only succumbed to the change of taste brought 
about by the arrival at the French Court of the Italian 


The fact which stands out preeminently in the fore- 
going brief summary of the literary life of France 
prior to the sixteenth century is its native vigor and 
racial originality. The national genius, though as yet 
undeveloped and furnished with a vehicle of language 
still rude in form and lacking in quantity and subtlety 
of vocabulary, set its imprint upon everything it 
handled. In the Epic of Arthur, the satire of Renard 
and the allegorical romance of the Rose it produced the 
three most popular works of the Middle Ages. More- 
over, "it is now established beyond the possibility of 
doubt that to France almost every great literary style, 
as distinguished from great individual works, is at this 
period due." France, in fact, had demonstrated 
literary greatness of a high order and undeniably racial 
character during three centuries before her contact with 
Italian culture initiated her own Renaissance. The 
same is true of her painting. 



THE beginnings of painting in France, as in all 
the Northern countries, are involved in obscur- 
ity. But land is no less real, because it has 
been uncharted. One detects its vague outlines 
against the obscurity of the past, while nearer in point 
of time are conspicuous elevations, arresting and en- 
grossing, notwithstanding that they are nameless. They 
are not connected with the remoter past as in Italy by 
a continuous if slender tradition, shading back through 
early Christianity to Roman days. They emerge slowly 
out of the background of Northern barbarism. Italy's 
first, and for a time, sole influence upon the North was 
that she handed on to it the Christian Faith. From 
this sprang the germs of civilization which the French 
shaped and developed according to their own tempera- 
ment and needs. 

Christianity had lingered on among the remains of 
Gallo-Roman civilization, but had become swamped 
by the German occupation. The Visigoths and Bur- 
gundians were the first to embrace the Faith. The de- 
cisive point was reached, however, when Clovis, engaged 
in consolidating a Frankish monarchy, yielded to the 
love and adroitness of his Burgundian Queen, Clotilda, 
and was baptized at Rheims in 496. This involved at 



least the nominal acceptance of the Faith by the whole 
mass of the Franks, and henceforth France is to be re- 
garded as a Christian country. It is noteworthy that 
at this period the Church had as yet no magnificence 
in her places of worship. Such as they were they fol- 
lowed the tradition of the basilica or hall of justice; a 
rectangular interior, with an apse projecting at the 
eastern end. So far as the ecclesiastical ritual was 
sumptuously furnished, it was rather in the way of vest- 
ments and sacred vessels and adornments, objects, in 
fact, of artistic craftsmanship. In the latter, as applied 
to secular purposes, the German tribes had already pos- 
sessed some skill, which was developed and led into 
higher planes of imaginative invention by their growth 
in Christian zeaL 

A further development of taste and skill was reached 
when the imperial rule of Charlemagne brought the 
West in contact with the East. He regarded himself 
and was regarded by Ms contemporaries as the successor 
of the Eastern emperors and it was to Byzantium and 
the East that he turned for the glorification of his power. 
When he established his palace at Aachen (Aix- 
la-Chapelle) he obtained permission from Pope Adrian 
to remove thither the decorations of Theodoric's palace 
at Ravenna. Its pillars* mosaic pavements and panels 
of marble, were incorporated into the new Basilica at 
Aachen, which itself was modeled upon the Church of 
San Vitale in Ravenna. Moreover the emperor had 
entered into friendly relations with and received presents 
from the Saracen Caliph, Haroun-al-Raschid, whose 
power was steadily encroaching upon Byzantium. 


Thus It was by the older Byzantine art and by the im- 
mediate influence of the East and not by the example 
of Roman Italy that the German artistic imagination 
was in the first instance fertilized. The result was a 
gradual Northern growth in which a strain of Byzantine 
influence is perceptible, while on the other hand it takes 
independent forms, reflecting the racial distinctions of 
German proper, Burgundian, Flemish and Frank. 
All, however, have a common trait of naturalistic vigor, 
characteristically Northern, and in time share the North- 
ern delight in craftsmanship. 

So far as painting is concerned the development pro- 
ceeds from illumination to frescoed adornments of the 
walls of churches and thence to the separate panel pic- 
ture and finally to the painting upon canvas. Through- 
out, the decorative instinct prevails, as well as the real- 
ization of appearances and the expression of sentiment, 
the human figure being used in combination with beauti- 
ful accessories of textiles, architectural glass and metal 
work, mosaic and furniture, until the picture becomes an 
epitome of all the art-crafts of the period. Nor, while 
it is distinguished by elaborateness of detail, is it lack- 
ing in vigor and breadth of ensemble. 

This fact is due to the conditions under which the 
early art of the North was produced. These were not in- 
dividualistic, but socialistic, in the sense that there was co- 
operation and combination among all the workers in the 
various united arts. This great efflorescence of energy 
began after A. D. 1000, when Italy was still asleep. It 
had been popularly expected that the completion of the 
thousand years of Christianity would bring about the 


end of the world and usher in the terrors of the Judg- 
ment. When men found that the order of the cosmos 
was still pursuing its routine, the immense relief found 
its expression in a renewed joy of life and a more ardent 
piety. Thus commenced the great era of cathedral and 
church building which extended through the eleventh, 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, during which the 
Northern genius was liberated and worked in the en- 
thusiasm of its native imagination. And, to repeat, it 
was a collective effort of all skilled artists, under the 
impulse of a great Faith and of a great belief in life. 
An architecture was evolved that in its aspiration to- 
ward the infinite and in its adventurous logic of con- 
struction, has never been rivaled, much less surpassed; 
until even Italy was kindled by its example and con- 
descended to learn of the Northern barbarian. 

In the vast cathedrals of France and Germany, the 
imagination not only soared heavenward but spread it- 
self in endless vistas, which lose themselves in the mys- 
tery of distance and intricacy, for they enshrine the 
mysticism as well as the vigor and aspiration of the race. 
Throughout is a luxuriance of decorative detail, in- 
trinsically the opposite of the formal logic of Roman 
and Greek art, being indeed akin to the freer logic of 
nature's growth, as she clothes the structure of the tree 
with an outburst from within of leafage, fruit and 
flower. Nor is the ornament so purely esthetic as the 
Greek and Roman. It is also intellectual and, in a 
sense, if you will, literary. It embraces forms of ugli- 
ness as well as beauty; embodies in animal and human 
shape, now natural, now grotesque, the racial lust of 


life and the inherited myths of the conflict between 
physical powers of good and evil, of darkness and light. 
It is a hieratic script, of human significance and mean- 
ing, outcropping from the edifice and, like the latter, 
an embodiment of abstract energy and exaltation in 
terms of human experience and feeling. 

To-day these cathedrals, by comparison with their 
origin, are impressive sepulchers of memory. A thou- 
sand other outside interests compete with them; they are 
frequented by alien sightseers, or at best by worshipers . 
whose faith, because it is no longer shared in common 
by all the world about them, can reverence these monu- 
ments of high physical and spiritual exaltation but is 
powerless to rival them. So it is only by a difficult 
straining of the imagination that one can picture the 
ancient days when the cathedral was inevitably the shrine 
of a whole community's yearning after the higher life, 
both in its relation to this world and the next; when the 
faith of a whole people served as a mighty impulse to 
the wealth of the powerful and the inventive genius 
of the artists; when the efforts of the latter diffused 
taste and appreciation throughout the whole community, 
until it reverenced and enjoyed, as a possession of its 
own, this miracle of the divine working in the human. 

Picture, if it be possible, this shrine of popular de- 
votion and pride, not completed, for successive ages will 
add to its embellishment; but already as perfect as the 
genius of the past has been able to make it; an edifice, 
rooted in strength and springing upward with agile 
grace and freedom; blossoming with sculptured orna- 
ment; its walls opening to the outside light in innumer- 


able traceried windows that glow with the splendor of 
colored glass ; its pavements laid with marbles ; its furni- 
ture of marvelously carved woodwork and wrought 
metal; precious metals and jewels flashing in the sacred 
vessels, and glory of textiles and embroideries making 
sumptuous the furnishings of the altar and of those who 
serve before it. As the solemn ritual proceeds in the 
presence of the kneeling multitude and the fragrance 
of the incense bears aloft the breath of united faith and 
adoration, the music of the organ and the voices, another 
of the great distinguishing features of the Northern 
cathedral, rolls forth a flood that fills the vast spaces 
and merges the thousandfold forms of beauty and the 
collective emotions of the worshipers in a wondrous 
ensemble of spiritual harmony. 

The human appeal of these cathedrals was increased 
during the middle of the thirteenth century by the pro- 
fuse use of statues. Sculpture had attained to a 
greater suppleness and freedom of action. The human 
forms as well as the draperies appear to have been 
studied from models. Moreover, canons of form seem to 
have been established, based on geometric principles and 
so elaborated as to cover every usual attitude and gesture 
of the human body. By following these formulas, 
laid down by the master designers, the ordinary workers 
were able to secure a high degree of grace and poise of 
figure. The draperies are particularly masterly, vying 
with those of the Greeks. Indeed a curious strain of 
affinity with the Greek feeling is apparent in this early 
sculpture and will appear in later forms of both 
sculpture and painting. Can it be a product of the 






transfusion of the Byzantine influence with the fresh- 
eyed interest in nature of the Germanic race, influenced 
in turn by the tender refinement of the Celtic strain 
and the vivacity of the Gallo-Roman? Whatever the 
source of this trait, it is a phenomenon of great account 
in French art, a phase of the esprit gaulois, which was 
anterior to the influence of the Italian Renaissance, and 
was to modify and survive it. 


The practice of painting, in France, would ap- 
pear to have developed under similar conditions of a few 
master-artists establishing canons of form and com- 
position to be followed by their numerous assistants; 
an atelier system such as characterized also the flourish- 
ing periods of Japanese art. The earliest French paint- 
ers were the miniaturists and illuminators, examples of 
whose work can be studied in the Bibliotheque 
Nationale. They were produced for the service of the 
ritual and as treasures for royalty and the nobility. 
The panel picture, on the other hand, was intended for 
popular edification, even as the early mystery and 
miracle plays to which they are closely akin both in 
motive and style. Their appeal is couched in the 
vernacular, reaching the intelligence and emotion of the 
people by directly natural means. As to the quality 
of their naturalism M. Viollet-le-Duc contends that "in 
the drawing of the form, in correct observation of move- 
meiits, in composition and in expression the French 
artists both in sculpture and painting cast off* the tram- 
mels of conventionalism long before the Italians did. 
The paintings and vignettes which the thirteenth een- 



tury has bequeathed to us are a proof of the fact ; and 
fifty years previous to Giotto we had among us paint- 
ers who had already realized the progress ascribed to the 
pupil of Cimabue. From the twelfth century to the 
fifteenth drawing becomes modified. Fettered at first 
by the traditions of Byzantine art, it begins by shak- 
ing off those rules of a particular school. Without 
abandoning style it looks for principles derived from the 
observation of nature. The study of gesture soon at- 
tains to a rare delicacy and then comes a search after 
expression. As early as the second half of the 
thirteenth century we recognize striking efforts of com- 
position; the dramatic idea finds place and some of the 
scenes exhibit powerful energy. 55 

It is to be noted that Viollet-le-Duc, whose writings 
on architecture, archeology and criticism appeared be- 
tween the years 1850 and 1875, was a confessed op- 
ponent of the theory that French art owed its greatest 
obligation to the Italian and Roman tradition. His fol- 
lowers went so far as to sweep the latter entirely out of 
consideration. He, however, was saner in his views; 
recognizing the debt to the Renaissance and thence to the 
Romans, but maintaining that what was intrinsically 
valuable in the art of his country, in every period, was 
traceable to enduring traits inherent in the racial 
amalgam of the French people, and that, even when they 
borrowed, the French artists fixed on the result the im- 
press of the French character. 

. . . ... 

The Louvre in two of its galleries, and in examples, 
scattered elsewhere, presents fairly sufficient evidence 


of the painting of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries 
and also of the period during which the Italian artists 
were working at Fountainebleau. 

* *#* 

Among the paintings of the fourteenth century is 
(995) The Last Communion and Martyrdom of St. 
Denis; the patron Saint of Old Paris, the first preacher 
of Christianity in that city, who suffered for the Faith 
in the year 270. Legend relates that after his decapita- 
tion on the Hill of Montmartre, he walked, bearing his 
head in his hand, to a spot two miles away where a pious 
lady buried him. Later the body was removed to the 
Abbey of St. Denis, which became the last resting-place 
of the kings of France. The composition involves a 
series of incidents, represented against a gold back- 
ground. In the center Christ hangs upon the Cross, 
while the Holy Father stretches out his hands above 
Him. At the left, Christ, attended by a kneeling angel, 
administers the Wafer and Chalice to the saint, whose 
head shows through the bars of a window at the foot 
of a red brick tower. On the right, the saint, in a blue 
cope embroidered with gold, kneels at the block, while 
the executioner raises his ax. The body and head of 
another ecclesiastic lie at the foot of the cross, while a 
third awaits his turn of death. In the middle distance 
stands a group of spectators. The neck of the Saint 
is already half severed and blood flows profusely from 
the breast and the feet of Christ. While these details 
are sufficiently horrible, the limbs of the executioner are 
lithe and graceful, and the carnations of the flesh-tints 
throughout very tenderly painted. In fact, the picture 


shows the evidence of being an enlarged miniature. It 
is attributed to Jean Malouel and Henri Bellechose. 

Also projected on a gold background are (996) 
Christ Dead and (997) The Entombment. The for- 
mer shows the nude body of the Christ, crowned with 
thorns and bleeding, upheld in the arms of The Father.. 
He is robed in blue, as also is the Virgin while St. John, 
who stands beside her, wears a red mantle. At the left 
are five child-angels. The panel is circular and again 
suggests an enlarged miniature. The scale is un- 
fortunate in view of the shape, for the composition ap- 
pears unduly contracted, the result being a lack of big- 
ness in the general effect. On the other hand, in The 
Entombment there is a marked increase of power in the 
treatment of the spaces and planes. The foreground is 
occupied by three old men, bearing the sacred body, 
while in the middle distance appears the Virgin, ac- 
companied by Mary Magdalene and Mary Salome, be- 
hind whom stands St. John. At the left the scene is 
being witnessed by an abbot. 

That the use of the plain gold background a sur- 
vival of the miniature, derived from Byzantine tradition 
continued into the early part of the fifteenth century 
may be learned from a rendering of the popular theme 
of St. George. It is a multiple picture, containing 
various incidents. Here, the saint is in the act of slay- 
ing the dragon ; there, is being dragged to execution at 
the heels of a mule; elsewhere lies the dead body, its 
severed head being crowned with glory, while soldiers, 
whose lances form a hedge as in Velasquez' Surrender 
of Breda, and the executioners prostrate themselves or 



lift up their hands in awe at the apparition of the saint, 
kneeling in the sky. 

In a fourth example, (941) The Scourging of Christ, 
the flat gold background yields to an architectural set- 
ting. It represents Gothic arcades in the pointed style, 
under which St. Peter and St. Paul stand, at the left 
and right of a central canopy. Here, bound to a pillar, 
is the Christ, His body splashed with blood from the 
wounds inflicted by birches and thongs, wielded by two 
executioners. The action and expression are more vig- 
orous than in the preceding examples and the modeling 
of the figures more angular. The painting has more 
affinity with the sculpture of the period than with 

There is an interesting analogy between the multiple 
pictures and the stage settings and performances of the 
mystery and miracle plays of the period. It was cus- 
tomary to surround the back of the stage with enclosures 
variously styled estate, mansions, lieux. These repre- 
sented the different localities, or as we should say, scenes, 
involved in the action of the drama, and were occupied 
by the groups of actors connected with each incident. 
There exists a title page of a lost "Mystery of St. Apol- 
lonia." The artist, no other than the famous Jehan 
Foucquet, has represented on the stage the torturing 
of the saint under circumstances of gross violence, cor- 
responding to the horror of detail that characterizes the 
pictures of the period. Meanwhile, raised in the rear 
is a series of canopied stalls ; the right hand one occupied 
by the Prince of Evil, standing above the open dragon's 
mouth of Hell; the left representing Heaven, where 


the Virgin sits surrounded by Saints. In another box 
is a vacant chair from which the Emperor Decius has 
descended to superintend the torture. He will probably 
make his exit through the dragon's mouth, while the 
holy maid will be escorted up the flight of steps that 
leads to the mansion of the Virgin. Thus the locality 
became for the time being the seat of the incident. The 
practice grew until the mansions were differentiated by 
architectural fixtures and other details, suggestive of the 
particular locality. So by degrees came into use that 
peculiar feature of the early French Renaissance stage, 
known as le Decor Simultane, which presented a grouped 
arrangement of all the places to which the author's 
fancy transported the action of the play. Thus it would 
appear that in this particular the drama and painting 

influenced each other reciprocally. 

*** * 

The pictures, so far considered, while they represent 
the incident dramatically, with fairly natural action and 
often striking expression, are in composition confused 
and agitated. They lack the dignity and force of static 
quality. It is in this respect that the work of the 
end of the fifteenth century shows a great advance. 
Compare, for example, (998) The Deposition (p. 20). 
How well ordered is the composition! Its geometric 
basis is a little obvious, but the rigidity and formality 
are assuaged by the suppleness and naturalness of the 
forms. So evident a love of truth has inspired the 
artist's observation. Nor less interesting in its naive sin- 
cerity, is the way in which the truth is brought home to 
the actual life of the Parisians of the day. The Cross 


Is set up outside their own city. In the distance ex- 
tends a view, lovely in its detail* of the Abbey of St. 
Germain-des-Pres (then truly of the meadows) with 
the Seine beyond, washing the base of the Louvre of 
Philippe Augustus, over the towers of which shows the 
summit of Montmartre. These open spaces and that of 
the sky happily balance the foreground group, the order- 
ing of which is accompanied by studied moderation in 
the gestures and expression of the figures. There are 
no ghastly evidences of blood ; the tibia and skull simply 
remind us that the place Is Golgotha; all the pathos of 
the scene Is conveyed by the pitifully helpless body of 
Christ and the silent anguish that characterizes each In- 
dividual of the group. We may be conscious of a cer- 
tain formal affectation In the weeping woman who 
kneels between the Virgin and the abbot Guillaume, 
prior of St. Germain; but the respective expressions of 
these two are admirable; so, too, are the agony and 
adoration of the young St. John, the grave solicitude 
of the venerable Joseph of Arimathea; the Magdalen's 
humble desolation, and the woeful amazement of the 
seated woman at the left. She Is robed in slaty blue, 
the Virgin in blue of a brighter tone, the woman beside 
the latter being in black with a green veil, while the 
abbot's cope is of rose-colored brocade. St. John's 
cloak is old rose over a crimson tunic. Joseph's Oriental 
costume consists of a brown turban and richly embroid- 
ered garberdine above a green robe, while the Magdalen 
wears a white head-cloth and robe, the latter partly cov- 
ered with a pale rose mantle. The colors, exceedingly 
beautiful, are illumined with a pure, out-of-doors light. 


The gem, however, of these primitive religious pic- 
tures in the Louvre is 1001 Us a Pietd of the School of 
Avignon (p. 29). It will be recalled that through the 
Intrigues of Philip the Fair this Provencal city became 
in 1309 the domicile of the Popes ; this "second Babylon- 
ish Captivity," as it has been called, lasting until 1376. 
The palace remained in papal possession until 1791, 
when it was annexed by France. Until quite recent 
years the castellated building was used as a barracks 
and coats of whitewash covered the mural decorations 
which have been lately revealed. Some of them, which 
are religious in subject, are attributed to Italian fol- 
lowers of Giotto, notably to Simone Memmi. But the 
latest restoration reveals another interior, decorated 
with secular subjects of hunting and fishing. In these 
a few figures are sprinkled against a background of 
grassy lawns and dense foliage, which is executed with 
delicate precision, forming an exquisite arabesque of 
leafage. All these paintings must have cultivated the 
taste and stimulated the rivalry of local artists ; but are 
not in themselves sufficient to explain the grand simplic- 
ity and severe exaltation which dignify this Pietd. Its 
inspiration is rather to be found in the higher intellec- 
tuality which characterized the cities of Provence. 
To this day they abound in magnificent monuments of 
the Roman occupation, which in the fifteenth century 
were no doubt in better preservation. It is not difficult 
to realize the effect which the vast sweep of amphi- 
theaters and the silhouette of gateways, walls and 
aqueducts must have wrought on the imagination of 




the local artists; teaching them to see things more 
architectonically, simply and grandly. 

Comparing this picture with The Deposition, one 
notes the greater abstraction of the former. The back- 
ground is gold, surrounded by a text and border, 
fashioned in diaper; nor is there so natural an indi- 
vidualization of the figures, if we except the wonder- 
fully direct characterization of the priest. But for what 
the Pietd loses in naturalness and detailed observation it 
more than atones in the intensity of its abstract ap- 
peal ; moreover, in the majestic simplicity of its coordina- 
tion, so calculated as to give the exactly appropriate de- 
gree of emphasis to each of the parts. The eye is 
spellbound by the gesture of the Saviour's body; at first, 
it may be, painfully. But soon the grace and dignity 
of its arc of direction, so tenderly white against the 
black, gold-bordered mantle of the Virgin, wins one's 
sympathy. The obtrusion of the form yields to a 
pathetic insistence; its curve has the supple limpness 
of a wilting flower-stem, until it reaches the strain of 
the flesh over the ribs and the emphatic angle of the arm, 
which concentrate attention on the face with its eyes 
closed and lips apart in an expression of noble suffering. 
Toward it is inclined the head of the Virgin, thereby 
concentrating the prominence given to her raised and 
isolated position. The face is not that of a Mother; it 
is the Mother's, in its pure and noble abstraction. 
Scarcely less noble in its abstract, reverential tenderness 
is the expression of St. John, as he removes the crown 
of thorns from the illumined head. His robe is also 


black., "bordered with gold and partly concealed by a 
brown cloak, while the Magdalen, as she holds a yellow 
handkerchief to her eyes, Is draped in old dull crimson. 
And not less admirable than the monumental reserve of 
the color-scheme are the amplitude of the masses of the 
drapery and the large simplicity with which the planes 
are treated. There is nothing finer in Zurbaran's ren- 
dering of the white habits of the Carthusian monks than 
the effective handling here of the priest's surplice. 

This Pietd fitly summarizes in pictorial form the 
noblest aspect of the medieval civilization that was even 
then in process of being superseded by the modern. So 
far as technique is concerned its unknown painter had 
attained in his art the mastery of architectonics that the 
sculptors and more particularly the architects had 
achieved in theirs. Emotional fervor is here tempered 
to a logical restraint and intellectualized. Intensity of 
conviction and of personal sensation are elevated to im- 
personal, abstract expression ; nature has been noted and 
rendered, but sublimated with a universal suggestion. 
Consequently, this primitive work, purged from the 
formalism of the Byzantine and the affectation and un- 
due naturalism of the Gothic and not yet tainted with 
the sophistical superior knowledge and mundane quality 
of the Italian invasion, appeals to the higher conscious- 
ness and purest imagination of the modern mind. For 
the latter, wearied with much learning and with a pro- 
longed pursuit of naturalistic verisimilitudes, is seek- 
ing to recover more abstract principles and an attitude 
of approach to nature which views it in relation to the 


Somewhat corresponding to the development of 
religious painting before the French Renaissance is that 
of portraiture. It is distinguished by a resolute regard 
for nature. The painters represented the kings and 
nobles in whose employ they served without any attempt 
to idealize,, registering conscientiously the impressions 
of the eye and paying careful attention to details of the 
costume. Accordingly, even the most indifferent ones 
have a documentary value, and one can study to-day 
with an assurance of their veritableness the counte- 
nances, often forbidding, of some of the chief characters 
in the tangled drama of the times. These portraits, 
in fact, are more illuminative of history than much read- 
Ing of books. 

The earliest portraits in the Louvre belong to the 
fifteenth century. Note, for example, a pair repre- 
senting, respectively, Pierre II, Duke of Bourbon, Sire 
of Beaujeu and his wife Anne, daughter of Louis XL 
In each case the figure is kneeling, three quarters pro- 
file; the husband in front of St. Peter who carries the 
keys ; the lady facing St. John, who bears his emblem, 
a pyx from which a dragon springs. The figures are 
disposed in a corridor, through an opening of which 
appears a landscape. These portraits are assigned to 
the Burgundian school and exhibit a Flemish feeling 
in the treatment of the charming landscapes and the 
rich fabrics of the costumes, though inferior in the 
flesh parts, which are flabby and rather expressionless. 
Also belonging to the Burgundian school is a portrait 
of Philippe Le Bon, Duke of Burgundy, wearing the 
Order of the Golden Fleece which he had instituted in 


1430. Formerly attributed to one of the Bellini, but 
now recognized as the work of some French painter of 
the early fifteenth century is a group-portrait of Jean 
Juvenal des Ursins, president of the Parliament, and 
his wife and eleven children. In this picture, too, 
the figures are kneeling, the father in advance and the 
wife and children strung out behind him, while under- 
neath each is an inscription giving the name and title. 
The background represents a chapel divided into three 
parts, across the front of which is stretched to half the 
height, a cloth of gold dossal drapery. Except in a 
documentary sense, as a record of costumes and inscrip- 
tions and as an example of workshop methods, follow- 
ing the canons but uninspired by the artist, this picture 
has no interest. One cannot even accept it as evidence 
of portraiture, for the same physiognomy is repeated 
in all the heads. 

On the contrary it is a human document that confronts 
us in the diptych portrait of Rene d'Anjou and his 
second wife, Jeanne de Laval. Rene, Duke of Anjou, 
Count of Provence and titular King ("le bon roi Rene") 
of Naples, until dispossessed by Alfonso of Aragon in 
1442, was himself a painter as well as a patron of art 
and literature. The heads and busts are shown in pro- 
file; the king's having an expression of noble resigna- 
tion, while his Queen's is a trifle sentimental in its sad 
sweetness. The execution is studiously elaborated and 
delicately truthful in detail. These portraits are attrib- 
uted to Nicolas Froment of Avignon, who was also 
a painter of still-life and landscape. 

The finest example, however, of the portraiture of the 


period is shown in the almost profile bust, Portrait of 
a Woman., painted by an unknown artist at the end of 
the fifteenth century. The subject is a lady of circum- 
stance. She wears a red damask robe, fur-trimmed and 
cut square at the neck, revealing a blue silk guimpe. 
Over the latter lies a dainty, jeweled necklace, while 
suspended by a chain over her bosom is a handsome 
jewel, in the center of which appears the figure of St. 
John the Baptist. The hair is drawn back off the high 
forehead and confined in a quilled cap, over which shows 
the edge of a red skull cap, beneath a black hood, edged 
with pearls. The head is placed against a background 
sown with pansies and forget-me-nots, which add mean- 
ing to the inscription upon a scroll held between the 
lady's thumb and forefinger: ff De quoilque non vede yo 
my recorded "I remember those whom I do not see." 
Any suspicion of sentimentalism is banished by the ex- 
pression of the face, which has a large strong nose and 
firmly set mouth. It is a face full of character, calm 
and purposeful, yet tender and constant; that of a 
chatelaine who could ably administer her husband's af- 
fairs in his absence. 

. . **** 

The dominant figure of this transition period is Jean 
Foucquet who was born in Tours about 1415 and died 
about 1485. He was painter in ordinary both to Charles 
VII and Louis XI. Some part of his life was spent in 
Italy, where he seems to have been chiefly affected by 
the work of the primitive Tuscans. Yet not in imitation 
but in emulation; their example stimulating Ms own 
habit of conscientious observation and directly simple 


rendering. He made his mark alike in panel pictures 
and in miniatures. Forty of the latter, illustrating a 
Book of Hours for Etienne Chevalier are preserved at 
Chantilly. He is represented in the Louvre by two 
portraits respectively of Charles VII and of the Juvenal 
des Ursins whose portrait with his family hy an unknown 
painter has been already noticed. Here, however, 
Juvenal is shown as a man of forceful character, such 
as is to be expected of one who was Chancellor of France 
under both Charles and Louis. Half life-size, he is 
represented standing in profile, in an oratory, clasping 
his hands before a priedieu, where a book lies open upon 
a cushion. His costume consists of a dull red robe,, 
trimmed with fur, fashioned with large, stuffed sleeves, 
and confined at the waist with a belt from which a purse 
depends. Green panels are fitted into the gilt pilasters 
of the background, the capitals of which comprise the 
coat of arms of the TJrsin family, supported by two 
muzzled bears rampant. The portrait, as Gustave 
Geffroy remarks, affirms the subject's character, as at 
once a bourgeois, a jurist and a man of the sword. 

Compared with the ampleness of the Chancellor, the 
Portrait of Charles VII (p. 34) presents a sad-fea- 
tured, meager face that ill accords with the inscription 
at the top and bottom of the panel: ff Le tres glorieuoo 
roy de France, Charles Septiesme de ce nom" Im- 
pressed, however, on the face are the traces both of his 
character and of his experience. When his father, 
Charles VI, died he was a young man of nineteen, con- 
fronted with a divided country over the greater part 
of which the English held control. He is described 




as being of a delicate constitution, a good scholar, timid, 
reserved, but addicted to indulgence. It was not until 
some years later, after the triumphs of Joan of Arc, 
that he was crowned at Rheims. When his authority 
was finally established he set himself to reorganize the 
finances of the country, at the same time reducing the 
power of the feudal aristocracy by employing as 
ministers and captains of war members of the bourgeois 
and lesser nobility. His end was miserable, Louis, his 
son, having openly rebelled, Charles, in terror of being 
poisoned, refused food and ended his exhausted life 
by starvation. The good and the bad, the promise and 
the failure of the royal personality are marvelously sug- 
gested in this great human document, surely one of the 
most arresting portraits in the world. 

Another superb example is that of Etienne Chevalier 
with St. Stephen in the Berlin Museum. The Secretary 
of Charles VII stands with hands folded as in prayer 
beside the Saint, who holds a book with a stone upon 
it in his left hand, while his right rests on the shoulder 
of his namesake. The youthful face of the proto- 
martyr, calm and strong, is one of singular purity, 
while in that of the older man is embedded the sugges- 
tion of resolute directness, probity and kindly devotion. 
The figures are shown about half length in a corridor 
of Renaissance architecture, and again the artist betrays 
his favorite palette of red, green and gold-embroidered 

It appears in the strangely alluring Virgin and Child 
of the Antwerp Museum. Red and blue nude child- 
angels form a clustering background to the tasseled, 


jeweled throne on which Madonna sits. An ermine 
cloak depends from her shoulders and is held across her 
lap with one hand for the nude Babe to sit on. The 
tight fitting bodice of her green robe is unlaced, releasing 
the left breast. It is a sphere of ivory, wax-white like 
the neck and the globe of the head. For the eyelids 
are lowered and the hair brushed off the high forehead, 
so that the head beneath the large jeweled crown seems 
as if bald. Immobile as marble and as cold are the 
form and its expression; yet instinct with latent co- 
quetry, that exhales its allurement as naturally and as 
purely as a flower its fragrance. And with a similar 
detachment from passion one yields to the seduction. 
For the suggestion and the charm are those of femininity 
in the abstract. Agnes Sorel, the king's mistress, is 
known to have been the model; but the representation 
is cleansed of personality. 

Foucquet's masterpiece, indeed, offers a strangely in- 
teresting commentary on the mental attitude of its time 
toward religion and the sex-relations. Moreover, it is 
the first indication in painting of the idea of "the 
eternal feminine," as interpreted by the finest qualities 
of the esprit gaulois. For the latter's choicest expres- 
sion of the eternal feminine involves nothing 1 of 
coarseness or seductiveness but represents, as embodied 
in the idea of woman, the essence of the allure and 
beauty of life. It has in it not a little of Attic naivete 
and simplicity. It is a clue and the chief one, to some 
of the most characteristic phases of French art. 




IT was the good fortune of France to receive the 
wine of Italian culture when she was ready to as- 
similate its heady strength; when, in fact, she was 
already a strong and growing nation with a vig- 
orous culture all her own. Other nations were less 
lucky, at least as far as painting is concerned. England 
at this period was growing lustily, but her background 
of culture was only meager. Consequently, when the 
Renaissance reached her, mainly filtered through the 
French, it found a Shakespeare to fertilize but no paint- 
ing. Nearly two hundred years had to elapse before 
there were English painters ready for the Italian in- 
fluence, by which time the adoption of the latter was 
largely an affectation* The same is true of Germany, 
after a still longer period of waiting. The great tradi- 
tion of Diixer and Holbein was checked by the Reforma- 
tion; and, when the Renaissance reached her, it found 
no native culture to ferment. In lieu of it was a tradi- 
tion of independence and profound religious feeling 
and these it fertilized. Germany enriched the world 
with ideas of civil and religious liberty, but at the ex- 
pense of art. Only little Holland effected for a time 
the union of the three. As for Italy sooner or later 
she fructified the world; but her own harvest of culture 



was raised upon a soil, already Impoverished and continu- 
ally growing poorer. The dawn of the fifteenth cen- 
tury broke upon the beginning of her highest splendor ; 
the close of the century saw it set. TwiEght passed 
into a night, that until the nineteenth century remained 
unbroken. Meanwhile France, even before the collapse 
of Italian culture, began to be the arbiter and dispenser 
of art to the modern world and has maintained the 
role to the present day. 

To what must the phenomenon be attributed? 
Firstly, to the fact already mentioned that at the time-of 
her contact with Italian culture France already had a 
glorious past in architecture and sculpture and was 
growing in nationality, with a living literature and art of 
painting that were racy of the French character. To 
herlEtie Renaissance did not come as a new birth, but as a 
reinforcement and refinement of a vigorous life. 
Secondly, she demonstrated again and not for the last 
time, her racial capacity of assimilation. Even as she 
had borrowed from Celtic or German lore and fashioned 
what she took into literature distingtdshably French, 
and had cast in a like national mold her borrowings 
from Flemish and German painting, and earlier from 
Byzantine art; so now, while she reveled in the 
Renaissance banquet, she digested what she took and 
made it a part of herself. But a third reason is to 
be found in that element of poise in the esprit gaulois; 
an attitude of philosophic gaiety, that while it can be 
serious, escapes the barrenness of too exclusive serious- 
ness. Accordingly, in France at this period there was 
no unbridgable gap between religion and art. Catholics 


and Reformers alike could be humanists, devoted to 
liberal culture, which did not, as in Italy, tend to 
paganism. Calvin himself was a prime absorber of 
humanism, deriving from it a lucidity, precision, grace 
and pregnancy of style that reacted most invigoratingly 
on the thought and literature of the period. Poise was 
displayed in the critical and practical spirit that charac- 
terized the acceptance of the new culture. Generally 
speaking, it was one of unqualified joy in the discovery, 
of restraint and discretion in the use of it. This 
affected to some extent the choice of subject matter; 
but still more the method of handling it. On the one 
hand, the inflated style of the "Rhetoriqueurs," which 
had crept into French writing toward the end of the 
fifteenth century, was abandoned for simple and direct 
expression; on the other, the vocabulary and structure 
of the language became enriched, more flexible and 
more subtle by contact with Italian and Classic litera- 
ture. This was ultimately the effect that the Italian 
Renaissance exerted upon French painting. 

The first printing press was set up in Paris in 1470, 
nine years before the birth of the great printer and 
editor, Jean Grolier. By the end of the century, presses 
had been established in eighteen other cities, scattered 
over the country from Caen in the North to the Southern 
town of Perpignan. The appetite for the new learning 
and the preparedness for it were, in fact, nation-wide. 
Hence it resulted that, when France obtained a hold 
on humanistic culture, she leapt at once into the posi- 
tion of being the European leader of scholarship. The 
University of Paris became the center of the movement, 


chiefly through the transcending ability of Gillaume 
Bude, better known by his Latinized name, Budaeus* 
As librarian to Francis I, he formed a notable collection 
of Greek manuscripts and was the first to interpret the 
Greek texts on scientific and scholarly lines. He wrote 
as ably in the French tongue as in Greek and Latin; 
and was hailed by Calvin as "the foremost glory and 
support of literature, by whose service our France claims 
for herself to-day the palm of erudition." Closely as- 
sociated with his influence was that of the Hollander, 
Erasmus, who developed in Paris his scholarly genius, 
and then through his sojourn in Germany and England 
became one of the chief pioneers in spreading enlighten- 
ment throughout Europe. Other great names among 
the French scholars of the period were the Scaligers 
and the Etiennes. 

It was characteristic of French scholarship that much 
of it was expended in spreading the knowledge of the 
Classics through translations in the vulgar tongue; the 
latter becoming matured, extended and subtilized in the 
process. The greatest of the contributors to this dif- 
fusion of knowledge was Jacques Amyot (1518-1593), 
whose chief work was the translation of "Plutarch's 
Lives." This book, as much through the quality of 
Amyot's style as through its own intrinsic merits, im- 
mediately acquired a popularity in France, which spread 
to other countries; the French form, rather than the 
original Greek, becoming the basis of the various trans- 
lations into other tongues. How it inspired Shakespeare 
is a matter of common knowledge, while its influence 
some two hundred years later on the growth of French 


thought which led to the Revolution is equally indis- 
putable. The secret of its style is explained in the 
author's own advice "Take heed and find the words 
that are fittest to signify the thing of which we mean 
to speak. Choose words which seem to be the pleas- 
antest, which sound best in our ears, which are cus- 
tomary in the mouths of good talkers, which are honest 
natives and no foreigners/' It is not difficult to see 
how the same principle can be applied to the technique 
of painting; as indeed it was by the original, as con- 
trasted with the imitative, artists of the French Renais- 

It is interesting to recall that during this century of 
literary activity, the French began to imitate the colonial 
activities of the Spaniards. Jacque Cartier, a native 
of St. Malo, born within a year of Columbus's discovery 
of America made three voyages to Canada, respectively 
in 1534, 1535 and 1541 ; while simultaneously with the 

last year De Soto was exploring Louisiana. 

It was scarcely to be expected that the development 
of painting at this period could keep pace with that of 
literature; for the former had no such agent in its ser- 
vice as the printing-press. Scholars and writers were 
in the employ or under the patronage of royalty or 
nobility; but through the press they spoke to the public 
at large and thereby were encouraged to speak as 
Frenchmen. With the painter or sculptor it was 
necessarily different. He worked to please his patron, 
and the latter's taste for the most part followed the 
Italianate fashion, set by Francis I, whose disasters 


In Italy did not impair his admiration for Italian art. 
He invited to Fontainebleau Leonardo da Vinci, 
Andrea del Sarto, II Rosso, Primaticcio and Niccolo 
delF Abbate and the sculptor, Benvenuto Cellini. Of 
these, Primaticcio exerted the greatest influence, since 
his sojourn in France extended over thirty years. His 
most noteworthy followers were Toussaint du Breuil 
(1561-1602) and Jean Cousin (1500 -1589), the latter 
a man of versatile gifts, practising also as an architect, 
sculptor, miniaturist, decorator and glassworker. He 
is represented in the Louvre by The Last Judgment. 
The scene is medieval in its conception and composed 
in close resemblance to the elaborate mystery plays of 
the sixteenth century; to that, for example, given at 
Valenciennes in 1547, of which a drawing still exists 
and is reproduced in Karl Mantzius' "History of 
Theatrical Art." The foreground in Cousin's picture 
is occupied by newly risen souls, some of whom are 
entering a cave, while others are being dragged off to 
Hell, which, as usual, is situated at the right of the 
scene. The clouds open overhead, revealing Christ, 
standing upon the globe of the earth, attended by the 
Virgin and St. John and a retinue of saints. Mean- 
while the composition shows a marked advance in 
freedom and boldness of design, in knowledge of 
anatomy and foreshortening and in geometrical per- 
spective. The picture, in its union of old feeling and 
new technical accomplishment stands in the same 
category as The Last Judgment of Van Orley in the 
Antwerp Museum. 


Meanwhile, notwithstanding the Italian invasion, a 
group of portrait painters, consisting of the Clouets 
and their pupils, preserved the characteristics, if not 
of strictly French, at least of Northern painting. For 
Jean Clouet, the father, otherwise called Jehannet, 
Jhannet or Janet, was a native of Flanders; while 
Francois Clouet, the most distinguished of the three 
sons, exhibits a style which suggests that he may have 
been a pupil of Holbein. The date of the father's birth 
is unknown, but about the year 1475 he moved to France 
and settled in Tours, where Francois was born in 1500. 

To Jean Clouet the Louvre catalogue attributes the 
fine Portrait of F rands I (frontispiece). It repre- 
sents the king about thirty years old, in a pearly satin 
doublet, striped with black velvet and embroidered in 
gold, resting his left hand on a balustrade covered with 
green velvet, while an arras damasked in two tones of 
dull claret red appears in the background. The very 
dark brown hair is dressed in a flat roll over the ears 
while the chin and cheeks are covered with the soft curly 
growth of a beard that has never known a razor. The 
expression of the face is sly and sensuous. If one 
compares the portrait with a later one (1007) of the 
same king, executed probably by a pupil of the Clouets, 
the change is significant. The face is puffier and 
coarsened, the complexion reddened, the expression that 
of the confirmed sensualist. The two pictures, as M. 
Geoffroy well says, exhibit respectively the youth and 
the maturity of the satyr. Clouet's portrait may also 
be compared, this time for technical interest, with 
Titian's Louvre portrait (1588), Frauds I. The 



latter, of which many repetitions exist, was probably 
not made from life; but possibly from a medal. Pic- 
torially, of course, the Titian is finer than the Clouet; 
exhibiting a masterful treatment of planes and sur- 
faces, as well as a controlling knowledge and skill that 
has swept all into an ensemble as apparently spontane- 
ous as it is magnificent. Alongside of it the Clouet 
is, no doubt, caligraphic rather than painterlike; in 
which respect it is interesting to compare it with the 
beautiful portrait by Ingres of Madame Riviere 
(p. 109) . Yet in its very innocence of any brushwork 
bravura, in its close and prolonged analysis of values 
and the unremitting integrity with which the results 
of observation have been rendered, there is not only 
an assurance of fidelity of portraiture but a stirring 
suggestion of virility. If one's temperament inclines 
to prefer the less learned portrait, I don't think he need 
feel ashamed* 

The same penetrating truth of characterization dis- 
tinguishes the portraits by Fran$ois (also called 
Jehannet) Clouet; while the precision is associated with 
increased fluency of brushwork and a more subtle har- 
monizing of the flesh-tints, costumes "and background. 
The Louvre possesses his full length Portrait of 
Charles IX, of which a life-sized repetition exists in 
the Museum of Vienna; the latter bearing the inscrip- 
tion "Charles VIIII, tres chretien roy de France, en 
Tage de XX ans, peint au vif per Jannet, 1563." It is 
supposed that both of these pictures were sent to Vienna 
in 1570, at the time of the young king's marriage to 
Elizabeth, daughter of the Emperor Maximilian. This 


portrait reveals a weak and vicious face, with the wary, 
cruel expression of a ferret. It "bespeaks the charac- 
ter that two years later (1572) could countenance the 
treachery and political folly of the Massacre of St. 
Bartholomew. Admiral Coligny, the most illustrious 
victim of the devilish plot and his enemy, the Duke of 
Guise, and many other men and women who enacted 
willing and unwilling roles in the drama of the period 
are among the subjects represented in the Louvre's 
collection of historic portraits. 

They suggest a momentary glance at the back- 
ground of events following the death of Francis I 
in 1547. He was succeeded by his son, Henry II, who 
had married Catherine de' Medici. This able and un- 
scrupulous woman, trained in the principles of Machia- 
velli, had ample scope for her prowess during the 
minority of her two sons, Francis II and Charles IX. 
The former succeeded his father in 1559 at the age of 
sixteen and died the following year, the Crown passing 
to his brother, at the time, a boy of ten. The latter 
reigned for fourteen years and was succeeded by Cath- 
erine de* Medici's third son, Henry III. The period 
of these three ignoble reigns is occupied with the 
struggle between Catholic and Huguenot parties. For 
the day of philosophic tolerance was past and war was 
carried on a Youtrance between the rival religionists. 
The reason for the change of feeling is to be found in 
the attitude of Francis I toward the aristocracy. 
Whereas it had been the policy of the preceding kings to 
subordinate the power of the latter to the authority of 
the Crown, Francis had courted popularity by lifting the 


aristocracy up to social equality with himself. It was 
Ms delight to pose as "the first gentleman of France." 
The ultimate effect of this was to precipitate that com- 
plete cleavage between a privileged nobility and the 
rest of the nation, which after working untold suffering 
and wrong was to culminate in the Revolution. Mean- 
while, during the minority of the young kings, the more 
powerful nobles asserted their rights to a share in the 
powers of the Regency. In the rivalry which ensued 
Catherine allied herself with the Catholic family of 
Guise and thus the struggle became one of politics as 
well as religion. The power of the Guise continued 
until their infamy in instigating the horrors of St. 
Bartholomew's Eve had been avenged by the murder 
of themselves. This was contrived by Henry III, 
who himself paid the penalty the following year (1589) , 
when he was assassinated by Jacques Clement, a Domin- 
ican friar. 

The reign of this last of the rulers of the House of 
Valois was the most contemptible in the annals of the 
French monarchy. The profligacy of the Court, which 
under Francis I preserved some grace of gallantry, 
had been fomented by Catherine de' Medici for political 
purposes, until respect for decent women disappeared 
and even the charm of the licentious palled. Henry 
chose his favorites among young men and even had 
the audacity to bestow places of authority upon these 
mignons. Protestants and Catholics alike were dis- 
gusted. The leader of the former was now the son of 
Antoine de Bourbon, Henry of Navarre, who had been 
drawn by the Queen dowager into a marriage with 





Margaret, the dissolute sister of the king. To oppose 
his pretensions to the succession the Catholics founded 
The League to support the rival claims of the young 
Duke of Guise. On his deathbed the king named his 
brother-in-law as successor but warned him that none 
but a Catholic could reign over France. The forecast 
was realized. Although Henry defeated The League at 
the battle of Ivry, he found himself barred from Paris. 
Accordingly, after an indecisive struggle of several 
years he accepted Catholicism and was crowned as 
Henvy IV, first King of the House of Bourbon. 
The discontent of the Protestants was allayed by his 
issue of the Edict of Nantes. Having established his 
power, he obtained a divorce from Margaret and mar- 
ried Marie de ? Medici, whom Rubens later commemo- 
rated in the series of historic decorations that are now 
in the Louvre. Henry met his death at the hands of 
the assassin, Ravaillac. 


By those who wish to study the painting of the so- 
called School of Fontainebleau a visit must be made to 
the Chateau, which owes its most characteristic splendor 
to the successive efforts of Francis I, Henry II and 
Henry IV. "The King's Staircase" which leads to 
the apartments of Francis 3 mistress, the Duchesse d* 
IStampes, is adorned with frescoes, variously ascribed 
to Primaticcio, II Rosso and Niccolo Dell* Abbate. 
In them Francis is depicted as Alexander the Great In 
a series of scenes from the life of the Macedonian con- 
queror. Francis also erected the gallery which bears 
Ms name and the magnificent Salle des Fetes. He 


lived to complete the decoration of the former with 
mythological subjects executed by II Rosso; but the 
embellishment of the latter was undertaken by Henry 
II, in honor of Diane de Poitiers. His initial, linked 
with that of his mistress, appears in all directions amid 
bows, arrows, and crescents, the emblems of Diana, 
while the panels are filled with eight large compositions 
and fifty smaller ones, embodying scenes from 

So thoroughly identified is Fontainebleau with the 
memory of Diane de Poitiers that it is something of a 
shock to the sense of romance to recall that the lady 
was twenty years the senior of her royal lover; old 
enough, in fact, to be his mother. But Henry was 
quite a passionless person and only followed his father's 
example in adopting a mistress because the custom 
seemed to be de rigueur. And Diane herself played 
rather the part of a prudent directoress, whose influence 
on the king was edifying. Regarded, indeed, from the 
point of view of her contemporaries, the position of 
Diane was magnificent and divine, for her relations 
with the king represented to them the perfect type of 
Platonism, at once practical and sacred. Du Bellay 
voiced this in a poem in her honor "God had made 
you appear among us like a miracle, that you may 
possess the soul of this great King, whose faith is in- 
violable, and that his affection through your perfection 
may burn with a holy flame/' And he adds, "You 
have won the heart of all France." 

This Platonistic tendency, borrowed from the Italians, 
strange as it may seem from the modern point of view, 


was in a measure the expedient of women of refinement 
to hold at bay the coarseness of the men. Nevertheless, 
it was a symptom of decadence and held in it the disease 
of profligacy which followed. Meanwhile its vogue ex- 
plains the spirit which prompted and saw nothing incon- 
gruous in the sculptor Goujon's representation of the 
king's mistress as a nude Diana, reclining upon a stag, 
surrounded by her hounds; a group which originally 
adorned the front of Diane's palatial Chateau d'Anet. 
It is now in the Louvre, where its beauty can be enjoyed 
for its intrinsic charm. Goujon was the typical 
sculptor of the French Renaissance; the one who most 
happily enriched his Northern temperament with the 
grace and fluency of the Italian, Yet how completely 
he escaped a servitude to the Italian influence may be 
seen by comparing this group with the Nymph of 
Fontainebleau by Benvenuto Cellini, which to some ex- 
tent must have been Goujon's model. The Cellini, in 
the exuberance of the bosom and turbulent pose of the 
abdomen, betrays the decadence of style that the mis- 
understood example of Michelangelo was promoting, 
while the long slender legs are more than a little mean- 
ingless and the expression of the face is trivial and 
formal. Goujon's Diana, on the contrary, is instinct 
with nature; monumental, it is true, and sublimated, but 
still woman, a synthesis of the purity and vigor of 
splendid womanhood. She is exquisitely personal; 
nevertheless aloof. Indeed it is this quality of human- 
ness, touched with abstraction, that seems to be the 
secret of its fascination to the modern mind. 

A corresponding quality distinguishes the painting 



(1013) Diana (p. 47) which is one of the few exam- 
ples of the School of Fontainebleau comprised in the 
Louvre. The hair is blond, the flesh pale rosy cream; 
the drapery of golden huff silk; the hanger of the quiver 
a delicate blue, with dainty jewels; the color of the 
greyhound cream; the background, dull olive green 
foliage and a gray blue, characteristically Parisian sky. 
The drawing and modeling of the young figure betrays 
no learned assurance, the pose no artifice. The artist 
has rendered, with simple fidelity, his model. No 
sophistication intervenes. The maiden bears the charm 
of unconscious nakedness rather than conscious nudity; 
veiled with the naivete of her artless purity. The 
painter doubtless owed much to Italian influence, but 
Ms spirit was distinguishably French. 



WHEN Louis XIII, a child of nine years old, 
was raised to the throne In 1610, the 
country was still torn asunder by Leaguers 
and Huguenots. The leaders of both factions en- 
croached upon the royal power; there was as yet no 
middle class strong enough to assert its rights and the 
masses of the people were practically serfs. Authority 
existed nowhere. Under the circumstances, if it were 
to exist at all, it must be in the person of the sovereign. 
Louis XI had realized this and intrigued successfully 
to achieve it. Under his successors, however, what he 
had won was dissipated, and at no time was the crown 
more impotent than in the early years of the seventeenth 
century. The queen regent, Marie de* Medici, was of 
weak character and sought refuge from the insolence 
of the nobility in Italian favorites. When she married 
her son at the age of fourteen to Anne of Austria, it 
was to introduce another feminine influence no less weak 
and unprincipled. There were two queens at court but 
no king, for Louis from the start, while not without 
ability, lacked all capacity of concentration and per- 
sistence. He was as completely a roi faineant as any of 
the later kings of the Carlovingian dynasty, and the 



equivalent of a mayor of the palace appeared in 
Cardinal Richelieu. 

From his appearance at court in 1619 until his death 
in 1642 Richelieu worked with one end steadily in view 
the revival of the policy of Louis XI. His own 
ambition found its scope and satisfaction in converting 
the monarchy into an absolutism, which he wielded on 
behalf of the royal puppet. The latter survived his 
great minister only one year, having in the meantime 
followed Richelieu's dying admonition to give his con- 
fidence to Cardinal Mazarin. Again, as so often in 
French history, the new king was a minor and during 
the life of his minister Louis XIV showed little sign of 
independence. He subserved the intrigues of Anne, the 
queen mother, and Mazarin by marrying Maria Luisa, 
the daughter of Philip IV of Spain; the ceremony being 
conducted on the Isle of Pheasants, in the little fron- 
tier river of QBidassoa. Velasquez had charge of the 
preparations and festivities and was so exhausted by the 
ordeal that he died a few months later. By the terms 
of the marriage contract both Louis and his bride for- 
swore for themselves and their heirs all pretentions to 
succeed to the Spanish crown. This agreement, by the 
way, in 1700 on the death of Charles II, the last of the 
Hapsburg line of Spanish Kings, Louis XIV, then 
in the plenitude of his power, found it convenient to 
ignore, thus precipitating the War of the Spanish Suc- 

Before he submitted to the political exigencies of 
this marriage with the Infanta, the young king had been 
enamored of the nieces of his cardinal minister. He 



was now allowed to solace himself with the charms of 
Madame de la Valliere. But an end of mere dal- 
liance was at hand. Mazarin died during the year which 
succeeded the Spanish marriage; regretting chiefly 
that he must be separated by death from the magnificent 
pictures and works of art, which he had set the fashion 
of collecting. When the council met and the secretary 
inquired of Louis to whom he should present his reports 
in the future the king's curt reply was Moi. There and 
then, at the age of twenty-three, he adopted the prin- 
ciple, that he upheld for fifty-five years, Yetat c'est moL 
His first act was to appoint Colbert Minister of Finance, 
whose long and faithful service put the treasury on a 
basis of certainty and affluence, which enabled Louis to 
satisfy his ambition to triumph in war and to shine as 
le Boi Soleil among obsequious courtiers. Without go- 
ing into particulars it is enough to recall that Louis 
XIV justified his title of le Grand Monarque by raising 
France to a position of influence in the politics of Eu- 
rope which made her everywhere respected. It was not 
until in the decline of his personal vigor, when he had 
married Madame de Maintenon, the widow of the writer 
Scarron, who had been tutor to his ilegitimate children, 
and under her influence turned devote and came under 
the control of the Jesuits, that the splendor of The Sun 
Bang began to decline. The War of the Spanish Suc- 
cession proved disastrous to the French armies, which 
were successfully opposed by Marlborough; the re- 
sources of the kingdom, no longer husbanded by Col- 
bert, became absorbed in deficits, and a series of deaths 
in the royal household, which the suspicion of the times 


attributed to poisoning, instigated by the king's disso- 
lute nephew, the Duke of Orleans, darkened the old 
king's end. 

Meanwhile, le grand Siecle, le Siecle de Louis 
Quatorze^ was prolific both in art and letters. The 
king himself affected to be the autocrat of both. The 
temper of the time was official. As the chaos of society 
yielded to the formative and consolidating influence of 
the royal authority, the aftermath of the French Renais- 
sance grew to be systematization. The Roman element 
in the French genius asserted itself and set its definite 
and enduring impress upon French art and letters. 

For the genius of Rome had been displayed less in 
originality than in judicious adaptation of a variety of 
examples to its own needs and circumstances. And this 
involved a systematizing of means to ends which, while 
it did little to encourage individual artists, trained up 
a host of competent craftsmen; a system of standardized 
style and widely comprehensive practical efficiency. 

Richelieu had established about 1629 the Academie 
Fran9aise, for the purpose of controlling the French 
language and regulating literary taste. The trend, 
thus set, was furthered in Louis XIV's reign by the 
recognized critical influence of Malherbe ana Boileau. 
Its immediate result was to replace the imaginative and 
singing qualities of the earlier French poetry with a 
system of metrical versification, sometimes rising to 
heights of grandeur and beauty, but more usually 
characterized by its fitness for narrative description, as 
in La Fontaine's Fables and, for heroic dialogue as in 
the dramas of Corneille and Racine. With both these 


dramatists individual characterization is replaced by 
types of character; quick interchange of dialogue 
yields to lengthy speeches and action on the stage is 
supplanted hy descriptions of what has occurred off 
stage and by elaborate reflections and dissertations on 
the part of the actors. In all these respects Corneille 
differs radically from his older contemporary, Shakes- 
peare, and Racine, coming later, fixed these traits on 
the so-called classic drama of France. 

It has been remarked, no doubt with justice, by a 
French writer that only a Frenchman, and by no means 
all Frenchmen, can appreciate at its proper estimate 
the value of Racine, The latter is, in fact, the product 
of a quality in the French genius that is enduring in 
the race, to-wit, its heritage of the Roman tradition* 
This must unquestionably be taken into account by 
every conscientious student of French art, who would 
try to reach its inwardness through putting Mmself as 
far as may be, in the mental attitude of the French 

Among the organized influences of the period that 
of the coterie or salon played an important role. The 
most famous of them, the Hotel de Rambouillet, had 
been established some fourteen years before the institu- 
tion of the Academy as a protest against the puerility 
and license of society and as an encouragement of 
literary taste and style. The ladies of the group called 
themselves Les Predeuses, the men, JSsprit Doux. 
This coterie, comprising among others, Richelieu, 
Descartes, the reformer of Philosophy in France, Cor- 
neille, Bossuet, La Rochefoucauld, the famous author 


of the Maodms,, and Madame de Sevigny, one of the 
most brilliant of letter-writers, exercised at first a 
salutary influence. But in time the effort to devul- 
garize the French tongue lead to the invention of liter- 
ary conceits, such as strew the pages of Mademoiselle 
de Scudery and other writers of heroic romances; and 
justified the satire of Moliere, whose "Precieuses Midi- 
cules" gave the cult its deathblow. 

In summing up the literary aspects of the period 
George Saintsbury says : "In the special characteristics 
of the genius of the French, which may be said to be 
clearness, polish of form and expression, and a certain 
quality which perhaps cannot be so well expressed by any 
other word as by alertness, the best work of the seven- 
teenth century has no rivals. The charm of precision, 
of elegance, of expressing what is expressed in the best 
possible manner belongs to it in a supreme degree." 

The same words are applicable to describe at least 
the trend of the development of French painting during 
this period; for its actual attainment of the above quali- 
ties belongs rather to the eighteenth century, when the 
French spirit was able to express itself more freely. 
Under Louis XIV French art had not only a patron, 
but an arbiter, who imposed his own will and taste upon 
obsequious courtier-painters. Art was officialized, 
firstly by the autocratic personality of the monarch, 
whose standard, if not so expressed was virtually Vart 
c'est moi; and secondly by the royal establishment of the 
Academy of Painting and Sculpture. 

What Fontainebleau had been as an expression of the 
Italianized spirit of the French Renaissance, Versailles 


became to the Roman tendency of the seventeenth cen- 
tury. The former grew up at the call of three kings; 
the spirit of woman stiE haunts it; it lies embosomed in 
the natural beauties of the Forest. Versailles, on the 
contrary, is the climax of artifice; summoned into being 
by one man and loaded with his personality* For one 
needs to be reminded that Louis XIII commenced the 
Palace and Louis Philippe added wings to it. To the 
imagination Versailles means Louis XIV. Nature 
had supplied a waste of sandy tract; he bid Le Notre 
convert it into terraces, esplanades and fountains, 
bordered by a mimic forest, with artificial lakes, water- 
falls, rocks and glens. With a Roman's largeness of 
plan and repetition of design, he summoned the f aades 
of the palace into rigid uniformity of line fronting the 
parade ground of extended terraces. Everything is 
grandiose and oppressively monotonous and artificial. 
It entombs the autocracy of Louis Quartorze and the 
formalism of "Le Grand Siecle" as unmistakably as the 
Escorial does the body of Philip II and the soul of 
Spanish Catholicism. 

Yet inside and outside the Palace the French genius 
proclaims itself in an exuberance of invention, facility 
and skill. Le Notre is still unrivaled as a landscape 
architect, while Le Brun and his regiment of painters 
displayed as inexhaustible a resourcefulness in the in- 
terior decorations. That they were courtier-flatterers, 
obsequiously producing pictorial rhodomontade to 
extol the one-man needs no enforcement; or that their 
output affects one with impatient fatigue. Yet it 
would be heedless to overlook the exuberance and the 



facility that these men displayed,, symptomatic at least 
of the fecundity of the French spirit after it had been 
fertilized by Italian influence. What they would have 
made of themselves if they had been free of the 
regime of the Court, as were Poussin and Claude Lor- 
rain, can be only conjectured. Perhaps, however, they 
had in themselves that Roman element which leaned 
toward and found its best capabilities in the regimental 

This also may be true of the Court portrait-painters 
headed by Hyacinthe Rigaud (16591743) and Nicolas 
Largilliere (1656-1746), although on the whole, these 
two exhibit more individual character than the decora- 
tors. Rigaud, particularly, is a strong man whose 
virile personality comes to the surface of the prodigious 
amount of display that the circumstances of the time 
compelled Mm to adopt. Observe, for example, his 
(981) Portrait of Louis XIV in the Louvre. Painted 
in 1701, it represents the king at the age of sixty-three, 
when his days of gallantry were passed. The puffy 
face is not imposing under its brown perruque. Stiff- 
ness and pomposity characterize the pose of the figure, 
planted on its white silk-encased legs; the exaggerated 
superbness of the blue velvet mantle, heavy with silver 
fleur-de-lys, massed upon the floor and turned back to 
reveal the sumptuousness of the ermine lining; and the 
paraphernalia of the throne, crimson canopy, column 
and the Crown and Hood of Justice, lying on a stool. 
Yet it is a shallow study that does not discover beneath 
all this panoply of ostentation the essential force of 
physical and mental manhood which made it possible 






for the Grand Monarch to impose Ms will so absolutely. 
That it does assert itself to a degree which explains 
and almost justifies the obsequiousness of its acceptance 
by his subjects is the measure of Bigaud's bigness. 
None but a painter who himself was endowed with 
mental and physical force could have interpreted the 
subject so plausibly; nay more, with such convincing- 

And for corroboration and heightened admiration 
of Bigaud's greatness turn to his (783) Portrait of 
Bossuetj which worthily holds a place among the mas- 
terpieces of the Salon Carre. The "Eagle of Meaux," 
as his contemporaries called the great preacher because 
of the survey and grasp that his sermons involved, was 
distinguished in his finest utterances by an extraordi- 
nary majesty of rhetoric and imposing grandeur of 
manner. Although he almost always aimed at the sub- 
lime, he scarcely ever overstepped it or fell into the bom- 
bastic and ridiculous. This characterization of George 
Saintsbury's might be applied to KIgaud's portrait. 
It is in a worthy sense a heroic canvas; but the heroic 
is modified, the sumptuousness mellowed, the ostentation 
assuaged. It is nobly assertive, yet with a refined 
control. And then, how genial the face with its straight 
and fearless glance and simple candor of expression! 

Like the portrait of the king, it was engraved by the 
younger Drevet, one of that band of French engravers 
who added so much luster to the art of the period. In 
the logic of their line and the purity and vigor of ex- 
pression they have never been surpassed. Indeed, it 
may be contended with much reasonableness that the 


French engravers of the late seventeenth and early 
eighteenth centuries represent in pictorial form the 
finest intellectuality of the period. 

While Rigaud reflects the influence of his sojourn in 
Rome, Largilliere was trained in Antwerp and later 
studied under Sir Peter Lely in London. His measure 
as a painter may be best discovered in (491) Portraits 
of Largilliere, his Wife and Daughter. The picture 
betrays the affectations, as well as the excellent disposi- 
tion of draperies and treatment of textures that the 
artist had learned from Lely. It also has a curious 
psychological interest in the way in which Largilliere, 
while preserving the courtly style, has tempered it to 
his family group ; has, as it were, domesticated it. The 
figures are seated, shown to a little below the waist. 
The artist, in a gray, long wig and drab suit, holds a 
gun and fondles a spaniel, a dead partridge lying 
beside him. His daughter, dressed in a dove-gray 
gown, trimmed with gold, holds a sheet of music, while 
the mother, in a crimson robe with her hair powdered, 
carries herself with easy and gracious alertness. The 
whole group is painted with breadth and spirit. After 
one has accepted the airs and graces of the picture as 
characteristic of the age, one's first suspicion of its 
sentimentality disappears in a recognition of the sin- 
cerity of technique and intention. 

As the seventeenth century progressed French paint- 
ers became the leaders in that invasion of Italy, which ul- 
timately resulted in the general Italianizing of Euro- 
pean art. The effects on the whole were disastrous. For, 
while the earlier influence of a still living Italian cul- 


ture had fertilized the native spirit of the countries that 
it touched, this later contact with the dead-hand chilled 
original impulse into soulless imitation. Even in 
France, where the consequences were less severe, there 
ensued a period of Italianate conventions, represented, 
for example, in Simon Vouet, a mild version of the great 
somersault-artist, Le Brun; in the suave amiability of 
Le Sueur's Raphaelesque compositions ; and in the more 
dramatic and interesting subjects of Bon de Boulongne 
(1649-1717)? which suggest the influence of Cara- 
vaggio; in the flower pieces of Jean Baptist Mon- 
noyer (1634-1699) and the game and hunting subjects 
of Francois Desportes (1661-1742). 

Meanwhile, a more honestly personal note appears in 
Sebastien Bourdon (1616-1671). The last named 
varied his compilation of religious compositions with a 
few genuinely observed and simply rendered genre 
subjects and with at least one fine portrait. This is the 
bust (78) Portrait of the Philosopher, Descartes; low- 
toned, grayish flesh; large lucid eyes; a bearing and ex- 
pression full of character, devoid of any display; a 
human record, arresting and authoritative. 

Further, there are the three brothers, Antoine, 
Louis and Mathieu Le Nain, whose lives cover the period 
from 1588-1677* Natives of Laon, they preserved the 
independence that characterizes the French provincial, 
and, although they came to Paris to perfect themselves 
in their art, resisted alike the influence of Italy and the 
domination of Le Brun. Little is known of them be- 
yond the meager facts that Antoine painted minia- 
tures, Louis some bust portraits and that Mathieu was 


appointed painter of the town of Laon; while all three 
were elected to membership in the Academy at its 
foundation in 1648. This denotes broad and liberal 
policy in the king's appointments, for nothing could be 
farther from other officially encouraged art of the day 
than the work of these three brothers. The examples 
in the Louvre are grouped in the catalogue under their 
combined names, since no data exists which can identify 
the individual pictures with any one of them. They 
are genre pictures, mostly of rural subjects (540) The 
Forge, (541) Rustic Meal, (542) Return of the 
Haymakers, and so forth; executed in a tonality of 
gray and brown, very quiet and simple in expression, 
and exhibiting a direct and careful study of nature. 
One of them (544), Procession in a Church, is distin- 
guished by the richness of the costumes. All are akin 
to the contemporary genre subjects of Holland and 
Flanders and anticipate the peasant genre of the nine- 
teenth century. 


poussnsr AND CLAUDE L 

THAT the Italianate convention was less disas- 
trous to France than to other countries is due 
to two causes. One has already been alluded 
to : that France had a vigorous native growth in art and 
literature, ready for fertilization, strong enough to re- 
sist absorption. The second cause is to be found in the 
personality and influence of Nicolas Poussin and, in a 
less degree, of Claude Lorrain. The artistic career of 
these two is identified with Italy and particularly Rome; 
yet they never ceased to be Frenchmen and shaped the 
Italian ideal to the needs of the racial genius. 

Poussin was the father of the French Classical 
School, inasmuch as it was his example that blazed the 
track for the newly formed Academy of Painting and 
Sculpture, which has led on to the present day. Born 
In Les Andelys in Normandy, 1594, of good family, 
lie showed an early fondness for art. Among his 
teachers was Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674), a 
portrait painter of rare seriousness, whose portraits 
stand out with dignified simplicity and forthright 
humanness amid the showier productions of the time. 
But, although his best years were spent in France, he 
was of Flemish origin, and is regarded by the French 
as a member of that school. Flanders had long been 


the traditionary source of much French inspiration and 
Champaigne's influence may well have been one by which 
the grave, stalwart young Norman, Poussin, was im- 
pressed. He had learned to draw by copying prints of 
pictures by Raphael, and the latter's pupil, Giulio de 
Romano. In time he found his way to Rome, where 
he tempered his admiration of Raphael with study of 
Roman bas-relief sculpture. Meanwhile, as befitted a 
son of the North, Poussin gradually discovered another 
direct inspiration in landscape. Out of these three ele- 
ments he constructed for himself a motive and method, 
distinguished by a union of nature and of architectonic 
repose and stability, in which a balance is maintained 
between the figures and the landscape. His well-known 
example of the Louvre, Et Ego in Arcadia, with its 
Raphaelesque balance and loveliness of expression, its 
extended composition of the figures in three flat planes 
and the simple beauty of the landscape, represents most 
characteristically his triune motive. In the very many 
other examples, which the same museum is fortunate 
enough to possess, the basis of the motive is less easily 
detected, for the artist was designing with greater free- 
dom of personal expression. 

The titles of Poussin's pictures betray the French 
leaning toward a literary subject. For example, Time 
shelters Truth from the Attacks of Envy and Discord* 
has a discouraging note, suggestive of the worst fea- 
tures of the Italianate convention. But it is not for 
the subject that one learns to look at a Poussin. Inter- 
est becomes absorbed in the extraordinary beauty of the 
landscape and in the suave nobility of the composition. 



Poussin, one discovers not only to have been the first of 
the great school of French landscape, but also to have 
remained unsurpassed in his ability to infuse the natural- 
ness of the scene with architectonic dignity. And in 
this his treatment of the figure plays a determining 
part. The truth is that his classicism goes back of 
Italian and Roman, He exhibits that affinity with the 
Hellenic spirit which appears, as we have noted, at in- 
tervals in French art. How redolent of what one 
dreams of Hellas and yet how finely French in charac- 
ter are (738) Autumn, in which the Israelite spies are 
returning from the Promised Land, laden with grapes ; 
(737) Summer, with Ruth and Boaz in the harvest 
field, and (738) Spring, the Earthly Paradise! These 
are landscapes of an ideal loveliness, inspired by a sin- 
cere love of nature. Except for a visit to France dur- 
ing 1640-1642, Poussin remained in Italy, dying at 
Rome in 1665. 

Claude Gellee, better known as Claude Lorrain, was 
born at Chateau de Chamagne near Toul, Lorrain, in 
1600. One account says that he was apprenticed to a 
pastry-cook, another that, having lost both his parents, 
he crossed the Rhine to Freiburg and received instruc- 
tion from a wood-carver and engraver. It is agreed 
that he made his way to Naples and studied architec- 
ture, and perspective and color under a German painter, 
Gottfried Waels. Then he moved to Rome and en- 
tered the service of the painter, Agostino Tassi, in the 
capacity of an attendant Later he set out on a tour 
of travel which brought him back to his native village. 


But his stay was short; he seems to have felt the call 
of Italy and returned thither never to leave It. He 
died in 1682. 

A student of nature, constantly drawing in the open 
air, he gradually acquired the style which won the ap- 
preciation of his contemporaries and secured him a 
popularity that lasted on into the nineteenth century. 
It represents a shrewd assembling of features of nature- 
study, drawn from diverse places, and is particularly dis- 
tinguished by its introduction of architectural details. 
By these means he built up a composition, as stable as 
it is ingratiating, its heroic character pleasantly ani- 
mated with groups of lively figures. In his fondness 
for warm sunshine he is akin to the Hollander, Cuyp; 
but instead of the latter's pastoral wholesomeness the 
feeling of Claude's pictures is rather that of sweet and 
gracious suavity. His world is one from which all 
hint of irregularity and conflict is removed; wrapped in 
inviolable repose. It is a mannered world, tempered 
and attuned to gentle sentiments by artifice; a vindica- 
tion of good taste rather than an idealization of nature. 
It is in this respect that he may be judged to fall short 
of Poussin, who, on the other hand, when he relies upon 
architecture instead of nature, is inferior to Claude. 
The latter, in fact, for all his nature study, appears to 
have had none of the profound love of nature which 
elevated Poussin. Claude is much less a, landscape 
painter than a contriver of beautiful scenic eff ects ; not 
Classic in spirit as was Poussin but a clever and allur- 
ing manipulator of the ingredients of the classical for- 
mula. That his work held the fancy of the sentimen- 












tally classicized taste of the eighteenth century and that 
Poussin had to wait until our own day for a revival of 
appreciation are equally intelligible. 

These two contemporaries, while representative of 
the trend of their time toward the Italian and the Roman 
vogue, maintained their identity as Frenchmen and 
shaped the foreign influence to their native genius, pro- 
ducing a new mode of pictorial subject. Each set a 
motive for the new Academy, the impress of which has 
endured to the present day. The Claude tradition has 
persisted in the Academic habit of improving upon 
nature and of repeating the obvious externals of the 
Classic style; while that of Poussin is discernible in 
many artists who lived outside the pale of the Academy 
and yet were truly Classic in spirit; Corot, for example, 
Millet, and Harpignies, to mention only three. 



IN" 1717 Parisians enjoyed two new sensations. 
Watteau's diploma picture, Embarking for the 
Island of Cyfhera, marked his admission to the 
Academy of Painting and Sculpture and Mile, 
Adrieime Lecouvreur made her debut at the Comedie 
Fran9aise. Both events were the heralds of a new era. 
The Grand Monarque, dead two years, had been 
succeeded by his great grandson, Louis XV, a child of 
five, with the pleasure-loving Duke of Orleans as 
[Regent. The gloom of the Court had been dissipated 
in sunshine. Relieved of official incubus, the Gallic 
spirit floated lightly on the freer air. Immediately it 
found its apotheosis in Watteau's masterpiece, which 
pitched the key for the melodies of the Rococo period. 
At the same time it found expression in the Le- 
couvreur's natural, as opposed to the artificial, art of 
acting. The one was a sublimating of actual con- 
ditions by the magic of art, and the other an en- 
franchisement of art by wedding it with nature. 
These were the elements which fermented the 
eighteenth century; the gaysome pursuit of beauty 
and the serious study of nature. It is the former 
only that usually occupies the historian of art of this 


It is customary, in fact, to regard the eighteenth cen- 
tury in France as solely identified with the Rococo style 
of art and since this, as every other style always and 
everywhere, declined, to consider the period one of un- 
relieved decadence and to dismiss it with more or less 
lack of sympathy and interest. A period of decadence, 
certainly it was, for there were elements in the social 
conditions that were moribund; but also other elements 
which, however blindly, were making for vitality. The 
century, indeed, should rather be regarded as one of 
transition in which old forms were being replaced by 
new, as the experiment of autocracy was to be succeeded 
by the later one, still not yet solved, of popular rule. 
For the point overlooked is, that society at this period 
was not entirely composed of courtiers and bent on 
frivolity. This is the mistake which comes of confining 
historical study to the political intrigues that center 
round the throne; and taking no account at the same 
time of a people's development, as it is expressed in 
its trend of thought and through its arts, sciences and 
social conditions. 

Society at the opening of the eighteenth century al- 
ready included intellectual and literary elements. The 
Grand Monarch had patronized both, while the Academy 
and coteries increased their prestige. So far, the 
thinkers and men of letters had been to a considerable 
extent compelled to obsequiousness by these various 
forms of beaureaucratic control. Now they were to 
share in the freer air that pervaded the period. It is 
significant to recall that at the date with which this 
chapter opened, Voltaire was twenty-three years old; 


Montesquieu, twenty-eight; while Diderot and Jean 
Jacques Rousseau were children, respectively of four 
and five years. These were shortly to become leaders 
in a mental revolution which prepared the way for the 
political and social Revolution. This, it should be re- 
called, in anticipation, was to suffer from the manner of 
its bringing on. It had no stability at first, because it 
was founded, not on the demands and convictions of the 
masses of the people, but upon theories derived from the 
thinkers and writers. The latter, as usual, were the 
leaders, but, unfortunately for France, without a 
phalanx of thought to back them. They were not 
giving expression to the masses, but spinning their 
theories in the atmosphere exhaled by themselves. 

The eighteenth century involved a breaking up of 
recognized conventions and a casting about for panaceas 
and new standards. Chief of these was what to-day 
with humorous seriousness we call "a return to nature." 
While philosophers argued for it, society practised it. 
It was fashionable to emulate the simplicity of the 
country folk; for had not Rousseau declared that if 
there is any virtue left it must be looked for among the 
lower classes? 

The changed mood of society is closely represented 
in the painting of the time. The painters of the 
FSte Galantes continue to contribute to the gay dance 
of fashion, though gradually the Gardens of the Lux- 
embourg are replaced by country scenes and the lovers 
disport themselves with sentimental tenderness in the 
garb of dainty peasants. Meanwhile Chardin contrib- 
utes to the change of taste his exquisite bourgeois 


genre and Greuze commemorates the imagined virtues 
of the proletariate. These two artists, in fact, are a 
natural part of their time and not the exceptions to its 
general trend, as is suggested by those students of art 
who insist upon viewing the eighteenth century solely 
as the period of the Rococo. 

From the early days of the Regency the soil was ready 
for the seed of simpler tastes. After the stifling pomp 
and ponderous gloom of the last years of the Grand 
Monarch, court society was eager for a freer and fresher 
elegance* The Luxembourg rather than Versailles be- 
came the nucleus of fashion. Moreover, society began 
to seek relief from the eternal routine of court life in 
private entertaining, and the hotels of the Faubourg 
St. Germain rivaled one another in elegance. The 
smaller apartment and salon were in vogue, and the skill 
and inventiveness of French designers were expended 
in converting the heavier and more elaborate furnish- 
ings and decorations of Louis Quatorze into the ex- 
quisite refinements of the style of Louis Quinze. It 
is a style that in its elegant exuberance, its airy inven- 
tion and charm and tact of taste is a direct expression 
of the Gallic spirit. And it was the setting, it must 
not be forgotten, of the paintings of the period. Either 
occupying a panel in the wall or ceiling or added as 
cabinet pictures, they are in scale and spirit an integral 
part of the exquisiteness of the ensemble. To-day, un- 
fortunately, we see them divorced from it; blossoms 
plucked from the flower-bed and set in strange and in- 
congruous surroundings. The fact has done much to 
estrange the sympathy of students from the art of this 


period, which to Frenchmen seems the purest product of 

the distinctively French spirit. 

. * . ** 

Of this beautiful garden of painting 1 Antoine Wat- 
teau was the master hand. Born in Valenciennes in 
1684, he made his way to Paris and in time entered the 
studio of Claude Gillot, a painter, designer and drafts- 
man of sprightly and original fancy, who directed his 
pupil's attention to the scenes of the Italian Cbmedy 
and to decoration. Watteau found a home with 

Claude Audran, one of the first decorative artists of the 
day and custodian of the Luxembourg. Here he was 
able to study the Marie de ? Medici decorations by Ru- 
bens and feast his imagination on the vistas of landscape 
in the palace gardens. In 1712 he took up his abode 
with Crozat, the collector of old masters in whose gallery 
he became acquainted with Venetian painting. In these 
particulars we have the summary of Watteau's external 
influences: experience in decoration, the impulse of 
Rubens's prolific invention and mastery of form and 
movement, the richness and dignity of Venetian color- 
ing. The rest was Watteau and the Gallic spirit which 
was incarnated in him. It put the cachet of fine art 
on his decoration; refined and subtilized the Rubens in- 
spiration and translated the mannered splendor of the 
Venetians into familiar elegance. Finally the result was 
impressed with the seriousness of Watteau's own tem- 
perament; that of a consumptive, passionately in love 
with beauty, haunted with the specter of early death and 
cherishing hungrily every moment in which he could yet 
work. Hence the qualities of impersonality and aloof- 



ness in Ms art The world of sight, transmuted by his 
poet's imagination, became purged of its mundane ele- 
ments, spiritually recreated into a vision of abstract, uni- 
versal beauty. 

The Embarkation, for example (the original picture 
is 982 of the Louvre; there is an elaborated version of 
it in the Royal Palace in Berlin) , is a poet's vision of the 
eternal springtime of youth and love, of happy, care- 
free yielding to the soft promptings of nature and the 
loveliness of life. Nature looks her loveliest; the air is 
aquiver with the fluttering of infant loves; the lovers, 
gaily hued, and as fancy-free as flowers, dally on the 
mossy bank, gather to the pleasure-craft or strain their 
eyes toward the golden horizon of their desires, absorbed 
in the eternity of the present and the stingless dream 
of pleasure. Watteau himself at this time was a prey 
to mental and physical distress. He died four years 

The Gilles (p. 79), No. 983 in the Lacaze collection 
of the Louvre, has the distinction of being a life-sized 
figure. His French name does not hide the fact that 
he is one of the Italian comedians, whose Commedia 
dell'arte, so called because it was a performance by pro- 
fessionals, had been popular during the French Renais- 
sance and had done much to extend the scope and sub- 
tilize the methods of the French stage. Banished dur- 
ing the latter years of the Grand Monarch, they had 
returned with the bright days of the Regency. Gilles 
wears his clown's costume of creamy white, shadowed 
to olive in the hollows; rose ribbons garnish his shoes, 
and his drab hat shows against the delicate blue of the 



sky. Below the slope of the mound on which he stands 
appear the black-garbed II Dottore on a donkey, II 
Capitano in a rose-colored vest and cap. Columbine and 
another. The statue of a satyr lurks in the shadow of 
the orange, tawny trees. The actors of the Italian Com- 
edy, despite the extravagance of their humor and comic 
business, were serious artists, lifting the spirit of comedy 
to a high level of finished impersonation. It is this as- 
pect of the actor that Watteau has represented. Hence 
a suggestion, perhaps for a moment, of incongruity be- 
tween the grotesquely costumed, foolish-looking figure 
and the artless seriousness of the mobile face. But to 
Watteau it was another enigma of life, of the iridescent 
illusion upon the surface of dire reality: this comedy 
that hides under light laughter the pain of things. Such 
was the mission of the artist: to veil the bitterness of 
life with the mirage of art's creation. It is as a brother 
artist that Watteau conceived Gilles. 

Poignant seriousness is, then, the measure of Wat- 
teau's superiority to his age and to Ms successors in the 
school of Fetes Galantes. They were imitators of his 
motives and methods, with none of his aloofness; enam- 
ored of the life they depicted and dabbling in its shallow- 

For profligacy reigned at Court. Louis, when he ar- 
rived at manhood, having an easy and diffident nature, 
drifted with the current that surrounded him. His po- 
litical advisers married him to Maria Leczinski, the 
daughter of Stanislaus, ex-king of Poland, and provided 
him with mistresses. The flattery of courtiers styled 


him the " first gentleman of France," and he was satis- 
fied with the dignity. The most famous of his mis- 
tresses, Madame de Pompadour, was the actual ruler 
of France for nearly twenty years, from 1745 until her 
death in 1764. From her apartments in the Grand Tri- 
anon, or the State Rooms of Versailles, she conducted 
wars, issued decrees and transacted the affairs of gov- 
ernment, while Louis frittered away his time in his in- 
famous seraglio of the Parc-au-Cerfs. Relieved of La 
Pompadour, he sank to the degradation of the Du Barry. 
It was into the circle tainted with her presence that the 
young, lovely and virtuous Marie Antoinette was re- 
ceived, as the bride of the Dauphin. The end of the 
royal shame arrived on May 10, 1774, when Louis, for- 
saken by all except his three daughters, Mesdames Ade- 
laide, Henriette and Sophie, died of what was said to be 

During this shameless reign the world-power of 
France, built up by the Grand Monarch had sunk to 
national impotence. Her possessions abroad, won by 
her captains of war "and enterprise in the East Indies 
and Canada, were wrested from her by the English and, 
as a last humiliation, she stood by helpless or too indiffer- 
ent to protest while Russia effected the partition of Po- 
land. Within her own borders the national spirit seemed 
to be extinct. Royalty was debauched, while the Church, 
and Aristocracy were grasping for power and repudi- 
ating their responsibilities; institutions of privilege bat- 
tening on the vitals of the country. The commercial 
classes were sucked by the leeches of taxation and the 


horde of usurers, bred from the exhaustion of society, 
while the agricultural population, the natural backbone 
of every country and of France in particular, was bru- 
talized and beggared. 

It was on this national rottenness that Rococo art, 
the most sprightly flowering of the Gallic spirit, flour- 
ished. The fact seems food for cynicism; an illustration 
of the esthete's trite contention that art has nothing to 
do with morals and of the philistine's scornful retort 
that the fairest periods of art are associated with the 
foulest conditions of national life. Incidentally the 
esthete and the philistine alike are partial in their choice 
of examples and superficial in their reasoning. Both 
point to such periods as the fifteenth century in Florence, 
the sixteenth in Venice and the eighteenth in France. 
They ignore the seventeenth in Holland, when a new 
art was fostered side by side with the growth of a new 
nationalism, and the fiber of both was moral. Not in the 
sense of didactic morality, but in that vigor and stanch- 
ness of pride and purpose which represent the highest 
coefficient of moral character. 

But at the time the Dutch were freeing themselves 
from political and religious absolutism, the Grand Mon- 
arch had been forging the clamps of autocracy upon an 
exhausted feudalism. His grip removed, autocracy and 
feudalism declined rapidly to decay and dissolution. 
The Rococo was the afterglow of The Sun King, and of 
such color and life as still lingered in the privileged aris- 
tocracy. That the latter was not entirely corrupt is 
proved by the frequent heroism of individuals of the 
old noblesse during the Days of Terror that were to f ol- 


low. It was Aristocracy as an institution that had 
become moribund; cankered with licentiousness. But 
in its individual members it still retained something of 
beauty and worth, though enfeebled by the general 
atrophy. Its art was the dying, transient gleam that 
passed and ceased; whereas the dawning light of Hol- 
land, though interrupted in the eighteenth century, per- 
sisted to re-illumine the following century. While the 
intimate artistocratic art of the Rococo died with the 
death of privilege, the democratic art of Holland, the 
intimate product of burgher home life, has survived to 
extend its roots into modern art in every country. One 
was an art of life, the other of dissolution. But for that 
reason let us not overlook the beauty that the latter pos- 
sessed, nor what it had of worth. It is instinct with that 
gaiety and grace of spirit that was to irradiate the 
chaos of the Revolution ; and to enable France to burst 
forth again into a new life which once more should 
make her the intellectual and artistic leader of the 

But justice is not done to the art of the Rococo even 
by these reflections unless one accepts at its own estimate 
the qualities of the Gallic spirit. The genius of the 
Teutonic is seriousness ; of the Celtic, for all its humor, 
sadness. One can fathom both; but not the Gallic 
genius. That, to be realized, must be surprised in its 
flight in mid air. It does not engender on the ground; 
but, like the Queen-bee, seeks its nuptials in the whirl of 
ascent into the empyrean. Its environment is light and 
liberty of airy movement ; its essence, love and life. The 
spirit most akin to it is the American, which has the 


aerial, sprightly qualities of a manhood that is still youth. 
But, as a nation, we are only old enough to be very 
serious about business and success therein ; too young to 
be philosophers; too puritanic still to dare to be frank 
about life and love. Yet one of the oldest and most 
highly respected editors in America told me once that 
the whole secret of the art of novel- writing was to rec- 
ognize that all human life has its origin and its meaning 
in the love of a man and a woman. For business pur- 
poses of successful writing we accept the principle of 
life being love and love being life, but wrap our accept- 
ance of it in cloaks of pharisaical discretion. Accord- 
ingly, we sniff pruriently like a Tartuffe at what we 
term the frivolity and libidinage of the Fetes Galantes. 
Watteau we tolerate. Rightly we appreciate that his 
peculiar genius distilled the finest poetry from the Gallic 
spirit; but with his followers/Pater, Lancret, Lemoine, 
Boucher and Fragonard the case is different. The 
Gallic spirit has grown increasingly salacious. So 
prates our Puritanism. Meanwhile, let the American 
Podsnap scan the covers and pages of our own maga- 
zines, examine ,the book illustrations or lift his eyes to 
the catch-penny appeals of our posters and advertise- 
ments. Everywhere he will find the changes rung upon 
the theme of sex-attraction. But, this being * 'God's 
Country," Podsnap regards it as part of the providential 
scheme, whereas in France it is salacious. Or, possibly, 
Podsnap is in process of moral reformation; he sees no 
harm at home because none is meant. In time he may 
extend the same tolerance to the Gallic point of view as 
expressed in the Rococo. 






Watteau's chief pupils were Ms fellow townsmen, 
Jean Baptiste Joseph Pater (1695-1736) and Nicolas 
Lancret (1590-1743). Both were conscious imitators 
of the master, whose anger was aroused when Lancret's 
Bal du Bois was taken for his own. It is possible that 
this picture is the one now known as Fete in a Wood, 
No. 448 of the Wallace Collection. The latter also con- 
tains a Conversation Galante and Italian Comedy Scene, 
which closely imitate the rich delicacy of Watteau's color- 
ing and catch, too, a gleam of his poetic feeling. These 
early examples of Lancret, perhaps because their inspira- 
tion is not his own, represent his style at Ms best. He 
is more himself in the four Seasons of the Louvre, in 
wMch abstract poetic feeling is superseded by a lively 
interest in concrete touches of incident. In the scene 
of Autumn, for example^ f asMon is disporting itself at 
a picnic and one of the young men addresses a passing 
country-girl, who modestly lowers her eyes. Here one 
gets a glance at the affectations of society in favor of 
rural life and virtue. The poetry of Watteau has flut- 
tered down to a pretty sentimental bathos: and, corre- 
sponding to the triviality of the motive, is the character 
of technique. It has become more mannered in compo- 
sition, less supple in brushwork, more positive and less 
harmonious in color; qualities wMch grew into a hard- 
ness of style, as Lancret settled down to a more or less 
mechanical repetition of gallant subjects. Even more 
dry in method is Pater, though he again shows to better 
advantage in the Wallace Collection than in the Louvre. 
His Fete in a Park, Conversation Galante and Fte 
Galante of the former collection are still close to the 


Watteau model and catch a little of its mingling of 
piquancy and subtlety, 

Francois Boucher (1704-1770) was the typical 
painter-decorator of the period. After studying with 
Lemoine, the Italianate decorator of the great ceiling in 
the Salon d' Hercule at Versailles, Boucher, though he 
missed the Price de Rome, visited Italy on his own account 
in the company of Van Loo. Returning thence, he rap- 
idly won Academic distinction and attracted the notice 
of La Pompadour, who advanced him at Court and con- 
sulted him on all questions of art. While he wHs epi- 
curean in his tastes, his habit of work was indefatigable, 
involving ten hours a day of steady application. His 
output, therefore, was enormous, much being of neces- 
sity hastily conceived and executed. His reputation has 
suffered in consequence, as well as from the fact that, 
being decorative, it is seen at a disadvantage when dis- 
associated from the space and the surroundings for which 
it was originally designed. It was in the patterning of 
surfaces that he excelled; as a draftsman and designer; 
but his color is often insipid, his brushwork entirely 
lacking in virtuosity; while flesh-parts, draperies, clouds, 
rocks and trees have a soft monotony of texture. He 
was correspondingly indifferent to the diverse expres- 
sions of human life. The human form was simply a 
model for decorative arrangements; now draped, now 
nude; here posing as a shepherdess, there as a sugges- 
tion of some mythological personage of Olympus. 
Thus he turned out an unconscionable quantity of artifi- 
cial and mechanical figure-subjects, interesting mainly 
for the fluency and fecundity of their decorative inven- 





tion. Perhaps, after all, his greatest claim to recollec- 
tion Is that he was one of the masters of Fragonard. 

Jean Honore Fragonard (1732-1806) won the Prix 
de Rome, spent some time in Sicily, and returned to 
jgiake a great success with a large historical canvas, 
Le Grand Pretre Croesus se Sacrifice pour Sauver Cal- 
lirikoe. This, however, was his last essay In the histori- 
cal-academic style. Henceforth he became Indentified 
with gallant and amorous subjects, distinguished by 
largeness and f acility of execution as well as by brilliant 
virtuosity.^ More than any other painter of the period 
does he reveal the influence of Rubens, whose series of 
canvases in the Luxembourg, commemorating Marie de' 
Medici, was more or less the School of Painting for the 
eighteenth century, as it again became for the Roman- 
ticists In the early part of the nineteenth. Rubens him- 
self represented the Italian influence interpreted by the 
Northern genius, and, as participators In the latter, the 
French now began to accept the lesson of Italy through 
the example of the Flemish master. The result was 
to train a succession of great painters, Watteau, 
Chardin, Fragonard and later Delacroix; artists who, 
however much they may differ in personal characteris- 
tics, are united in being masters of color and brushwork. 

This mastery is the source of Fragonard's superiority 
to Boucher in decorative composition. Boucher emu- 
lated the inventive faculty of Rubens, but overlooked 
the latter *s realization of form ,and .movement, qualities 
in which Fragonard excelled. Thus ihe latter's Cupids 
Sporting and Cupids Reposing, which adorn the grand 
staircase in the Wallace Gallery, while they bear a 

81 3 


cursory resemblance to Boucher's decorations, are im- 
measurably more vital. The flesh tones are rosy and 
limpid; the bodies, supple and plastic, are enveloped in 
a silvery transparent vapor ; while the exquisite decora- 
tiveness is enhanced by the suggestion of life and the 
luxuriousness is tempered with virility. The same 
masculine grasp and handling invigorate the delicate 
fabric of the smaller panel pictures. Their subjects 
are trivial, skimming over the surface of passion with 
airy persiflage; but the trifles are immeshed in a web 
of virtuosity, as sure as it is dainty: the creation of a 
master, though he chose to work in petto. 

Fragonard is the artist most characteristic of the 
period, Watteau spiritualized his vision of love and 
life; breathed a soul into gallantry; but Fragonard saw 
it as it had become a graceful artifice. For, as the 
century proceeded, society grew satiated with license; 
passion became exhausted and was replaced, on the one 
hand, by sentimental yearnings after simpler and purer 
conditions and, on the other, by a cynical trifling with 
the affairs of the heart. Coquetry and gallantry be- 
came opposing pieces in the game of love-making, in 
which the attack and the defense were regulated partly 
by the rules of the game and partly by the nimble wit 
of the players. Artifice superseded feeling and was 
mirrored most delightfully in the finesse of Fragonard's 


* ** 

When we turn from imagined scenes, in which the 
spirit of the age is enshrined, to the portraits of the 
personages who lived and had their being in it, we meet 


as cMef interpreter, Jean Marc Xattier (1685-1766). 
He is to the Rococo what Elgaud and Largilliere were 
to the period of The Son King. Pomp has yielded to 
elegance; character to fashion; stamina to grace of 
style; virility to virtuosity. If the pretensions of the 
Grand Siecle oppress us, the mincing prettiness and 
affectations of the eighteenth cloy. For it is essentially 
a woman's age in the worst sense; that manhood has 
capitulated to femininity, and that the latter exercises 
its domination through the most obvious and trivial 
qualities of sex attraction. The Pompadour wields a 
kind of power, yet it is exerted to deprave and to pull 
down; apres nous le deluge. But power is for the most 
part in abeyance. The age has succumbed to silken 
fetters. Passion is exhausted, life has become a shallow 
comedy. The scene may be set in the open, but the 
air is laden with attar of roses and the powder of com- 
plexions and hair. The lumber-room of mythology as 
well as the farmyard has been drawn upon for proper- 
ties; and the stage manager appears as a dancing and 
deportment master. The puppet-players, with set 
smiles and gestures a la mode., attitudinize and languish; 
miracles of dainty artifice, as seductive as the porcelain 
bric-a-brac of Sevres. But, for all its superficiality and 
insipidity, this playing with life had its charm; and it 
was Nattier's gift to render it with a grace and fluency 
of style that preserve its flavor. 

While Nattier is well represented in the Louvre, it 
is in Versailles, in the gallery devoted to his portraits, 
that he can be studied to best advantage. Here are the 
portraits of Queen Marie Leczinsky and her daughters, 


Mesdames Elizabeth, Adelaide, Henrietta, Sophie and 
Louise. Some of them are what the French call por- 
traits dfapparat; pictures of state display, with volumi- 
nous rich draperies, and the paraphernalia of hangings 
and columns; representing fine ladies rather than 
grandes dames and in a rhetorical style, more character- 
ized by volubility than impressiveness. They are, how- 
ever, admirably decorative; for Nattier shared the 
genius of design which distinguished the age and was 
a thoroughly accomplished, if superficial, painter and 
colorist. He excelled particularly in his effective 
handling of large surfaces of unbroken color, his 
favorite hues being blue and red; captivating in the 
purity, choiceness and nuance of their tones. That all 
the faces seem to belong to one family and are rather 
insipid in expression, is, perhaps, less his fault than a 
result of the modishness of the time and the stereotyped 
method of dressing the hair and making up the face. 
Nor is he responsible for the vogue that impelled ladies 
to pose as beings from Olympus or as nymphs, conde- 
scending to assist the processes of nature. That these 
fads of society did not escape the ridicule of contem- 
poraries appears in a quotation from the satirical 
journal, Mercure. "Our ladies are represented," it 
says, "almost indecently naked, their only garment a 
tunic, which leaves throat, arms and legs uncovered. 
This garb, which is in reality none, is eked out by a 
piece of silk, wrapped about them in such a way as to 
serve no useful purpose, though it must be cumbersome 
to wear for it contains many yards of fine stuff. Some 
of these ladies are crowned with ears of wheat or other 


rustic adornment, most appropriately fastened with 
strings of pearls. Their common amusement, It ap- 
pears, is to lean upon earthenware pots, filled with 
water, which they are invariably tipping over so as to 
water the gardens at their feet. This leads us to be- 
lieve that they are fond of horticulture; a supposition 
confirmed by the fact that they are always represented 
in the open country. Another of the favorite recrea- 
tions seems to be the raising of birds, even of those kinds 
most difficult to tame, such as eagles, which we frequently 
observe them trying to nourish with white wine out 
of golden goblets. They seem, however, to be most 
thoroughly successful in the breeding of turtle doves, 
for these gentle birds flutter about some of them, espe- 
cially those of more melancholy humors, in great num- 

Nattier's vogue, as the magician who could be "true 
to life" and yet make all his sitters beautiful, was imi- 
tated at a distance by the other portrait painters of the 
period. Chief among these were Jean Baptiste Van 
Loo (16841745) and his three sons, Charles Andre, 
called Carle, (1705-1765) ; Louis Michel (1707-1771) 
and Charles Andre Philippe (1718 to about 1785). 
Of the family Carle was the most skilful painter. On 
one occasion he represented with a good deal of spirit 
the halt of a party of hunters for luncheon (889, 
Louvre). The gentlemen's costumes are point device 
and the ladies are fresh from the ceremonies of the 
toilette; the whole scene is amazingly artificial and im- 
possible from any sportsman's point of view; but possi- 
bly for that reason thoroughly characteristic of the age. 



The picture is an interesting record of manners and so 
are Carle Van Loo's portraits. But the faces, while no 
less conventionally treated than Nattier's, are without 
the latter's esprit, while the rendering of the costumes is 
correspondingly uninspired. In fact, beside his con- 
temporaries, Nattier is the magician that he claimed to 
be. He is alone among the portrait painters in oils who 
catches the glamour of society's elegant routine. In 
this his only rivals are the artists in the newly invented 

medium of pastel. 

Side by side with the painters of fashionable por- 
traits and of the F&tes G-alantes were two who depicted 
subjects drawn from the bourgeois and humbler classes; 
Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin (1699-1799) and Jean 
Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805) . The former, though he 
secured little notice from his contemporaries, outside the 
ranks of the artists and one or two critics, is to-day 
held in high esteem as an original artist and accomplished 
colorist; while the latter, after enjoying an exceptionaT 
popularity, suffered during the Revolution an eclipse 
from which he has never really emerged. For Greuze's 
popularity declined with the passing of the conditions 
which inspired it. 

His pictures, indeed, chiefly interest the modern 
student for the light they cast upon the state of mind 
of the society of his time. In 1755 Greuze astonished 
and delighted society with his Salon picture, The Village 
Bride. Five years later A Father Heading the Bible 
to his Children created another sensation. They were 
followed by A Father's Curse and The Son Chastened 




and others of like import. Greuze, in fact, established 
the vogue of the sentimental-moral picture, at the same 
time that Jean Jacques Rousseau was charming the 
sensibilities of society with La Nonvelle Helo'ise; and 
Diderot in his criticisms contended that "to render 
virtue amiable and vice odious was the proper aim of 
art/' Moreover, Greuze drew the models for his story- 
telling subjects from that third estate, which Rousseau 
declared to be the only surviving repository of virtue. 
The groups were theatrically arranged, the actors play- 
ing their several parts to the top of their bent, so that 
the compositions represent a tangle of excessive ges- 
tures. One of them, representing a mother surrounded 
by her offspring, was wittily satirized as a "fricassee of 
children." The very intensity of the emotions depicted 
served to stimulate the jaded sensibilities of society, 
while their moral and sentimental tendency was a feature 
of the contemporary movement, partly sincere, partly an 
elegant fad, which advocated the resort to simpler and 
sweeter conditions of living* 

Greuze's popularity was enhanced by his single- 
figure subjects of young girls, in various phases of tear- 
ful and languishing emotion. They are of that fasci- 
nating age, when childhood is ripening into first woman- 
hood and innocence is bubbling with wistf ulness and flut- 
tered with faint shadows of awakened sensibility. 
With caressing tenderness the artist's brush lingers 
over the soft hair and the ringlet that has strayed from 
its ribbon; the soft down that grows above the fore- 
head; the full and melting eyes, on the lashes of which 
a tear-drop often lingers; the curving nostrils, the kiss- 


Inviting lips, the rounded cheeks and neck and the firm 
small bosom, peeping from chemise or drapery. Adora- 
ble simplicity! Innocence, most inviting! For these 
subjects, with all their affectation of modesty, are more 
symptomatic of moral decadence than any other pictures 
of the period. Whether you interpret them as appeal- 
ing to a sentimentality that needs the stimulus of exag- 
gerated loveliness, or to an appetite that can be stimu- 
lated only by an invitation veiled with innocence, they 
equally are products of an exhausted moral sense. Nor 
is there any escape from the consciousness of their arti- 
ficiality and artistic trickery. The motive palls by repe- 
tition; the few devices, learned from Rubens, are con- 
centrated upon the points that will gain the readiest 
acceptance, while the backgrounds, draperies and 
shadows are treated perfunctorily and the color is 
heavy and uninspired. The claims of art, indeed, have 
been sacrificed to a tickling of the popular taste. 

particularly in this respect that Chardin proves 
himself superior to his successful contemporary. The 
motive of his work is sincerely and unequivocally artistic 
and his technique correspondingly sound. In 1728 
Chardin showed at one of the open-air exhibitions in 
the Place Dauphin some twelve pictures, among which 
was The Ray Fish,, now in the Louvre. For a time 
he confined himself to subjects of still-life, until, as the 
story goes, he was stung by the remark of a portrait 
painter: "You seem to think that a portrait is as easy 
to paint as a sausage." The suggestion is that this was 
the reason Chardin turned to the painting of figures; 
and produced those genre pictures of bourgeois life 


which rival the beauty of Vermeer's, but are thoroughly 
French in feeling and original in method. "For his 
manner of painting," as one of his contemporaries re- 
marked* "is singular. He places his colors alongside of 
one another almost without mixing them, so that his 
work looks like mosaic or patchwork or like that hand- 
made tapestry called point-carrel Chardin, in fact, 
had devoted much study to the relation of colors and 
their effects upon one another, being in this respect far 
in advance of his day. "He is the painter/' wrote 
Diderot, "who understands the harmony of colors and 
reflections. O Chardin, it is not white, red or black 
that you grind to powder on your palette; it is the very 
substance of the objects themselves. It is the air and 
light that you take on the point of your brush and fix 
upon the canvas. At times your painting is like a vapor 
breathed upon the canvas and again it resembles a light 
foam which has been thrown upon it. Go close to it; 
everything is confused and disappears ; draw off, and all 
is reproduced, recreated. It is said that Greuze, en- 
tering the salon and seeing one of Chardin's pictures, 
looked at it and passed on, sighing. This brief praise 
is more eloquent than mine." Diderot's appreciation of 
Chardin has been confirmed by posterity, as also, to some 
extent his later attitude toward Greuze: "I no longer 
care for Greuze." 

In an age, abounding in artificiality and lack of poise, 
Chardin displayed the distinctively French gifts of dis- 
cretion, moderation, sobriety, harmony, and esprit. 
His art represents that soundness and sanity in the 
French character and life which inured, notwithstanding 



the frippery and meretricious sentiment and decadence 
of society at large; which beneath the shallow currents of 
thought and conduct represented what is constant in the 
race and was to rise to the surface and survive after the 
upheavals of the Revolution. 







IN 1785, about midway between the accession of 
Louis XVI in 1774 and his execution in 1793, 
Jacques Louis David exhibited at the Salon The 
Oath of the HoratiL The following year Marie An- 
toinette's toy village, Le Hameau, was finished in the 
Park of Versailles, and the Queen and her ladies of 
honor played the innocent role of dairy maids. While 
this fact is typical of the feebleness into which had 
sunk the old order, David's picture forms an epoch in 
the advance of the new. Indeed, from this time on- 
ward, during nearly a century, epochs become symp- 
tomatic of the political life of France and the painters 
will be forced to contribute their evidences of the suc- 
cession of shocks of change. 

For hitherto, since the beginning of the French 
Renaissance, painting in France has been mainly an 
expression of the fashion and whims of society; its 
genesis and motive being aristocratic, representing the 
taste of royalty and the privileged classes. But now, 
at the close of the eighteenth century, the era of undis- 
puted privilege is passing. France is about to throw 
off the yoke under which one third of the land was 
owned by the nobility, one third by the Church, and the 
remaining third bore the entire burden of taxation. The 


democratic ideal, cherished sporadically throughout the 
Middle Ages by the free-cities, asserted by the Hol- 
landers in the seventeenth century and reasserted by the 
American Colonies in 1776, is to be acclaimed in France. 
Henceforth it is the collective needs and ideals of the 
community that, at least in theory, are to be considered ; 
and it is to these that painting, in so far as it keeps 
pace with the expression of the national genius in other 
manifestations of art, will respond. 

While the surface of French society had been irides- 
cent with the film of color, reflecting the immorality, im- 
morality and more or less vacuous innocence of high life, 
the depths below for nearly a quarter of a century had 
been in ferment with ideas of sanity and reformation. 
True to its racial origin, the French mind, in its effort 
toward national betterment, had reverted to the Roman 
and thence to the Spartan ideal. Philosophers had reit- 
erated the need of returning to the example of the Re- 
public of Rome; the schools and colleges had urged it 
and the theses of schoolboys had rung the changes on 
the patriotism and the austere virtues of Roman citizens. 
In the disintegration that had come upon France the 
Gallic mind was instinctively directed toward the cohe- 
sion and organization of the Roman Republic. It was 
seeking in its Roman origin an ideal and the architec- 
tonics to realize it. 

Meanwhile, the gathering energy had not as yet 
coalesced. It was still only fluent in the community and 
the ripple of its movement had as yet stirred only a 
little elegant froth upon the surface. For example, the 
beautiful and talented Madame Vigee Le Bran (1755- 


1842), whose sentimental and innocently refined por- 
traits are characteristic of what is pathetically purest 
in the age, indulged her friends in the novelty of a 
supper a la Grecque. The guests, arrayed in their 
hostess's studio properties, reclined amid flowers, sing- 
ing Gluck's chorus from The God of PapJios while 
the cook prepared the viands according to the Greek 
recipes, described in the Abbe Barthelemy's recent 
novel, "Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis." The repast 
must have been of Spartan frugality, since according to 
madame its total cost did not exceed fifteen francs. It 
was the fact that the sprightly mind of the gay young 
artist was playing upon the surface of the thought- 
movements of the time which gave the affair a social 
vogue. In contrast with this trifling was the part 
played almost immediately afterwards by David. 

David was the favorite pupil of Joseph Marie Vien 
(1716 1809) who had already responded to the Classi- 
cal trend of the time by declaring that painting should 
adopt "the noble style." With Vien, however, the 
"noble style" was a question purely of style; an 
affair of externals, clothing empty forms. It reflected 
the influence of the German critic, Winckelmann (1717- 
1768), the founder of scientific archeology and of the 
history of classic art. His "Thoughts on the Imita- 
tion of Greek Works in Painting and Sculpture" 
(1755) and "History of the Art of Antiquity" (1764) 
are the products of a rarely cultured mind and highly 
systematized thinking and of an imagination which, as 
if by instinct, penetrated the genius of the Classic. 
Nevertheless, the value of some of his conclusions is 


impaired by their unquestionable parti-pris; notably 
Ms doctrine that painting reaches its highest possibilities 
by imitating sculpture; that the "marble manner" and 
not the union of color and form and the accompaniments 
of tone and light and atmosphere, must be the painter's 
aim* Meantime this doctrine was obtaining currency 
and affected David. 

After two unsuccessful attempts David won the 
Prix de Rome. He had had some experience in paint- 
ing decorations after the style of Boucher; but with his 
sojourn in Rome his manner underwent a complete 
change. Like Poussin, he was affected by the marble 
bas-reliefs. In following these models he was no 
doubt influenced by Winckelmann, but even more by the 
bias of his own taste. For David was already a Re- 
publican at heart. Vowed to austere ideals and lofty 
patriotism, his study gravitated naturally to the Roman 
art rather than to that of the Italians, and to the bas- 
reliefs as the examples of the pictorial use of sculpture. 
Their severity accorded with that of his Republican 
ideals; moreover, they often represented, as in the case 
of Trajan's column, actual incidents of Roman triumph, 
and David was at heart a naturalist. He proved this 
in the early portrait of himself and in the later ones of 
other subjects, many of which are also in the Louvre. 
They are the work of a keen, clear-eyed student of the 
actual, who recorded what he saw with complete frank- 
ness as well as decisive force. This grasp of actuality, 
accompanied, as it was, with ardor of patriotism, ex- 
plains David's fitness to become the man of the hour. 

The Oath of the Horatii was instantly found to 



visualize what had long been in the minds and on the 
tongues of so many of his countrymen. David was ac- 
cepted forthwith as the artist of their ideals and the 
arbiter of public taste. This in a country like France 
which so inevitably translates its feeling and aspiration 
into forms of art meant that he was able to exert an in- 
calculable influence in stimulating the one and pointing 
direction to the other. Terms of patriotism and frugal 
living, of devotion to country and civic duty, passed into 
the vernacular of the crowd; men and women accosted 
one another on the streets as citizens; the Roman fashion 
extended to clothes, furniture and other accessories of 
living; the Roman example was extolled in the market- 
place and became the text of orators in the First Na- 
tional Assembly* The latter had come into being and 
discovered its power within four years of the appear- 
ance of David's pictures; so rapidly did events move 
when once the fluent emotions, desires and aspirations 
had been precipitated into some degree of cohesion. 

It has been seldom given to an individual artist to 
realize so fully the latent thought of his time and bring 
it forth into action; and it is this which makes David 
memorable and confers on this particular picture a phe- 
nomenal importance. For otherwise it is singularly 
jejune. Viewed solely as a picture, the group formed 
by the father and Ms three sons is stiff and frigid in its 
theatrical posturing, while the women at the side are 
sentimentally attitudinizing. But because of these very 
faults it was all the more expressive of the spirit pre- 
ceding the Revolution, which found its voice in torrents 
of oratory and appeals to sentiment; in the passionate 



reasoning of MIrabeau; Danton's biting and fiery 
diatribes and the acrid invocations of Marat; 
Robespierre's uncompromising enunciations of princi- 
ples and Saint-Just's tirades, saturated with sensibility. 
It is a matter of history that the momentum of ideas, 
let loose in this torrent of words, submerged the old 
landmarks of thought and action in a welter of confu- 
sion out of which Napoleon was needed to wrest order. 
That he succeeded was due to his possessing in a marked 
degree the potent qualities of his race. He was an 
artist with a genius for architectonics. Gifted with a 
command of language, as distinguished by logical de- 
cision as by picturesqueness and wit, he appealed to the 
imagination of his countrymen and backed up his in- 
spiration with organization. He replaced chaos with 
order and private ambition with patriotism; substituted 
for vague generalities of "Liberty, Fraternity and 
Equality," the concrete facts of a France united and 
once more paramount in the counsels of Europe; and 
satisfied the taste of his countrymen for hero-worship 
and faith in the Roman tradition by accepting the 
pomp and circumstance of an Emperor. Moreover, in 
this character he played the high Roman role of a con- 
structor. While, toward other countries he acted the 
destroyer; at home he was a great builder; not of 
aqueducts, baths and amphitheaters, but of a nation and 
national character, under a codified system of law, 
modeled on that of the Roman Emperor, Justinian. 
With an eye for the capacity of every man, he showed 
special favor to David, as the head of official authority 
and organized system in the Fine Arts. For David is 






said to have had as many as four hundred pupils, with 
whom his relations were so cordial that he bound them 
heart and soul to the principles of classicalism. The 
result was a unifying and strengthening of the Academy 
of Painting and Sculpture, which has enabled it to 
maintain its prestige as the official bureau of the Fine 
Arts, not only for France, but through its schools for 
the rest of the civilized world. To this day the Acad- 
emy and its IScole are the strongholds of tradition and 
authority and the dispensers of official patronage. 
Meanwhile, the active elements of the story of French 
painting during the nineteenth century represent revolt 
against the tenets of Academic classicalism. 

For it is a significant fact that the first fruits of the 
Revolution, so far as art is concerned, were the very 
opposite of what the political and social conditions would 
seem to have demanded. The Revolution had been 
directed against privilege and on behalf of the rights 
of man, that is to say, of individualism; whereas the 
result in the domain of art was collectivism in defense 
of privilege. The immediate and continuing effect of 
the upheaval was to release the individual and foster 
forceful personalities; but the classicalism of David 
was founded upon the impersonal. "The highest 
beauty is that which is proper neither to this person nor 
to that/' It was based on form; that is to say upon 
externals and upon the latter without reference to color* 
It aimed at coordinated perfection, a norm of beauty, 
avoiding the irregularities and accidents of personality. 
It made, at its best, for style instead of character. 

In establishing these ideals and a system to main- 


tain them the French were true to their racial genius 
for logic and organization. The only premise on which 
it is possible to base a system of instruction in the Fine 
Arts is that of form. Color is too much a matter of 
temperament and individual feeling to be reduced to a 
science and regulated by comprehensive methods. Nor 
can the subjective attitude be permitted toward form. 
That would be to substitute the exceptional for the norm. 
Form must be studied objectively in reference to a 
standard, outside oneself. What standard can be better 
than the generalized type evolved by the Greeks and 
Romans? And here again the French were true to the 
Roman tradition of their race. The Romans were not 
originators in the domain of the Fine Arts. They took 
their models from the Greeks, modified them to their own 
needs and so organized the reproduction of them, that 
the work could be effectively done by skilled craftsmen. 
Similarly the French system, has diffused a skill of 
craftsmanship throughout the whole nation, the influence 
of which is not confined to the higher departments of 
literature, drama, painting, sculpture and architecture 
but extends into all the minor branches of intellectual 
and artistic production. 

It has affected even the independent spirits who have 
broken away from the system and developed their per- 
sonality in directions opposed to its principles. They, 
too, in their revolt, exhibit an instinctive regard for logic 
and a certain architectonic force and classical restraint 
which distinguish them as Frenchmen, Meanwhile the 
Academy has shown an aptitude to modify its classical- 
ism and in a measure to accommodate its traditional 


policy to outside suggestions. For around this Bastile 
of the arts, as its opponents have regarded it, or this 
beleaguered acropolis, as it has appeared to its stanch 
defenders, war has surged throughout the nineteenth 
century. With an ardor of conviction and fierceness of 
onslaught such as only Frenchmen can import into 
artistic conflicts, since they are artists by nature of their 
race and therefore must perforce be vitally in earnest, 
the Academy has waged battle successively with Roman- 
ticism, Naturalism, Realism and Impressionism. 


Early in the century David abandoned the austerity 
of his Roman method for the superior grace and refine- 
ment of the Greek models. But his designs for furni- 
ture and costumes in the so-called Empire style, his 
Rape of the Sabine Women and Portrait of Madame Re- 
camier (p. 97) are alike affected by a cold and formal 
precision. They have nothing in them of Gallic esprit 
or of the ardor that was fermenting in the new France. 
Madame Recamier, who was as conscious of her sway 
over male hearts as of being the intellectual leader of 
a salon, turned to Baron Francois Pascal Gerard 
(1770-1837) who, though a pupil of David, proved, 
more gracious than his master toward his fair sitter's 
particular charms of f emininity. It is, in fact, through 
his portraits that Gerard's reputation has survived; for 
his historical subjects were stagey and his Greek pictures 
insipid. The finest exponent of this Greek reaction 
was Pierre Prud'hon (1758-1823). 

Prud'hon, beside being a student of Greek sculpture 
and drawing some of his subjects from Greek myth- 



ology, spent some time In Italy where he felt especially 
the influence of Da Vinci, Correggio and Canova. But 
it was the Gallic in him which determined his particular 
style. For in it lives again the spirit of the Rococo; 
the dainty grace of Watteau, tinged with poetic melan- 
choly, only clothed in classic draperies; the allurement 
of Boucher, but impregnated with the seriousness of pas- 
sion. For Prad'hon's life was a sad one, embarrassed 
until toward its close with poverty, and embittered by 
an unfortunate early marriage. Yet the breath of 
most of his pictures is that of eternal youth. Only an 
imagination still fresh with the ecstasy of youth could 
have conceived the exquisite figure of the maiden in the 
Rape of Psyche. Like his other masterpieces, Justice 
and Vengeance Pursuing Crime, Venus and Adonis and 
The Swinging Zephyr, it was painted during his attach- 
ment to Constance Mayer, who occupied a studio ad- 
joining his in the Sorbonne. The allegorical subject, 
Justice,, won the attention of Napoleon who commis- 
sioned the artist to execute the Portrait of the Empress 
Josephine; now in the Louvre, where it may be compared, 
to its manifest advantage, with the portraits alluded 
to above, by David and Gerard. After the death of 
Constance by her own hand Prud'hon, broken utterly 
in spirit, survived but two years, during which he 
painted his only religious subjects: The Assumption 
of the Virgin and the Crucifixion. These, like all his 
pictures, have been blackened by time. He also fin- 
ished The Unfortunate Family which had been begun 
by Constance Mayer. He is buried beside his lady of 
love and sorrow in the cemetery of Pere-Lachaise. 





Prad'hon, and, in a minor degree, Gerard and Anne 
Louis Girodet (1767-1824), represent the first dawning 
light of the hot day of Romanticism which was soon 
to kindle the ardor of the young generation. Before 
considering it we may delay for a moment and consider 
its great f opponent, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres 

When the struggle began Ingres had already reached 
middle age. But he was of the kind who are born old 
and make up for the lack of imagination and youthful 
freshness by indomitable patience and perseverance. 
He was David's most distinguished pupil, though he in- 
curred the master's ire by mollifying the strictness of 
classicalism with a mingling of the Italian, particularly 
of Raphael. Hence, at first, his work was rejected at 
the Salon. But he clung to his "heresy": "I count 
upon my old age/' he said; "it will avenge me." And it 
did most amply, for Ingres became the acknowledged 
champion of the Academic. To his students he enforced 
the doctrine, "form is everything, color is nothing" ; and 
when he guided them around the Luxembourg and they 
reached the Rubens Gallery, he would say, ff $alue%, 
messieurs,, mcds ne regardez pas" The caliber of his 
niind was small, but its grasp of the science of drawing 
and composition so elaborated by persistent effort that, 
however cold one may feel toward his work in general, 
certain examples of it arouse enthusiasm. These are 
scarcely to be found among his costume subjects or 
religious pictures; but, on the one hand, among the clas- 
sical subjects and, on the other, among his portraits. 
His CEdipzis and the Sphinx, notwithstanding the un- 


pleasant color, exercises a strange fascination, due ap- 
parently to its subtle blend of the concrete and 
the abstract. The figure of the youth, as he in- 
terrogates the oracle, has all the charm of young 
manhood in the pliant vigor of the limbs, yet 
the pallor of the flesh which is not that of life 
Imparts an abstraction to the form that removes it 
into an aloofness from human suggestion. More 
human is the girl's nude figure in The Source; as she 
stands fronting us with raised arms, supporting a pitcher 
on her shoulder. And the pose throughout is one of 
natural grace* Yet the expression of the whole is ab- 
stract; it is the blossoming loveliness of girlhood that 
is rendered, pure of all reference to the personal. The 
secret of the spell that it exerts is that the lure of life 
has been translated into lines of Academic perfection; 
and that color, which is life, plays no part in the con- 
ception or expression. One may discover the truth of 
this by comparing the Odalesque Bathing with Manet's 
Olympia, which are now hanging in the same gallery in 
the Louvre. The Ingres again allures by its beauty of 
line and mass, until one turns to the Manet, which, 
though you may not care for the character of the sub- 
ject, excels the other in distinction by reason of the liv- 
ing quality of its color scheme. The woman of Manet's 
picture is weedy and anemic, while the Odalesque is 
amply and wholesomely formed; so that the expression 
of life in the former is less a matter of personality than 
of the artist's vision and use of color. 

Among the portraits by Ingres in the Louvre the 
finest is that of Madame Riviere (p. 109), which 


again fascinates by the exquisite elaboration of its lineal 
composition. Xor is it destitute of color charm; the 
dress cream; the Indian shawl, embroidered In dull red 
and green; the cushions blue; a carefully organized 
scheme of color pattern. On the other hand, the well- 
known Portrait of if/. Berlin, editor of Le Journal des 
Debats, because of the inertness of its flesh-color, shows 
to better advantage in black and white reproduction than 
In the original. For there it counts purely as form, so 
that nothing impairs the stolid force of character ex- 
pressed in this very representative personage of the 
bourgeois era. 

The merit of these and other portraits by Ingres 
has tended to divert attention from Ms excellence in 
other subjects, and it is only beginning to be realized 
that Ingres is a great master of the French School 
For the force outside the Academy which he combated 
was born of the needs and conditions of the time and it 
submerged his influence and the memory of him in its 
overwhelming torrent* Meanwhile, in these later days 
a reaction has set in, with the result that the reputation 
of Ingres is coming back into its own. 

The whole matter resolves itself around the eternal 
question of the relation of art to life. Ingres upheld the 
superiority of art to life to an extent that almost implied 
independence of the one from the other. To-day we 
are discovering that painting has reached the opposite 
extreme: that in its rendering of life it has well-nigh 
achieved its separation from art. Hence, pending some 
modern compromise between art and life, between the 
claims of the abstract and the concrete, interest has been 


revived in the Academic compromise, so masterfully 
achieved by Ingres. 

Meanwhile, looking back, one sees that he was erect- 
ing a dam to stem the living current of his age. The 
water was brimming with life, swollen with passions; a 
torrent of human energy, let loose by the Revolution, 
following the direction of its own momentum, compelled 
to self-expression. For the time being at least, the cold, 
calculating, impersonal art of Ingres could not avail 
against this force of nature, represented in the outburst 
of personal, individualized energy. The conscious sense 
of life had been newly awakened with all the glory of 
its possibilities and the younger generation of artists 
was necessarily in revolt against Academic restrictions, 
as against all other official contrivances for shackling 
the liberty of the spirit. Inevitable, therefore, was the 
Revolution of the Men of 1830. 



A VERY usual mistake Is made of applying the 
title, The Men of 1830, , exclusively to the 
painters of the Barbizon group; apparently 
from the notion that this represents the date at which 
they settled in that village. But Rousseau did not visit 
the Forest of Fontainebleau until 1833, while it was at 
the Salon of 1831 that the men, afterwards so famous as 
a group, first attracted notice by their landscapes. The 
phrase, actually coined to designate the band of literary 
artists who under the leadership of Victor Hugo were 
hurling defiance at classicalism, refers to that memor- 
able night, February 25, 1830, when Hugo's Hernani 
was produced for the first time, and the rival partizans of 
the Academy and Romanticism came to blows in the 
theater* Five months later occurred the July Revolu- 
tion of 1830, which drove into exile Charles X, the 
last of the Bourbon kings. Thus the phrase had an ad- 
ditional significance of revolt and came to be applied 
broadly to all the fervent spirits in literature and paint- 
ing who had fought the battle of individualism against 
the p&ralyzing restrictions of official dogmatism. They 
were, as Theophile Gautier styled them in one of his 
poems, Les VcManU de (Kw-Jiuit~cent-trente. 

One of the phenomena of the French Revolution is 



that within the space of only twelve years, 1789-1802, 
the old Institutions had fallen and society w T as already 
being reconstructed on a new basis. This is to be ex- 
plained by the fact that preparations for the new w r ere 
already In progress before the downfall of the old. 
Thus, in the case of Romanticism, the torch had been 
lighted by Jean Jacques Rousseau and was carried for- 
ward by Chateaubriand (1768-1848) and Madame de 
Stael (1 776-1818). Chateaubriand's autobiographical 
novel, "Rene," published In 1802, reveals him akin to 
Werther and to Byron a prey to ennui and bitter self- 
analysis, "My mind," he writes, "while made to believe 
In nothing, not even in myself; to despise all things, 
honors, misery, kings and peoples, is yet dominated by 
an instinct of reason which commands it to reverence 
whatever is beautiful, such as religion, justice, human- 
ity, liberty and glory." Converted from infidelity by 
his mother, he wrote "The Genius of Christianity," "a 
prose-poem which by a series of picturesque and pathetic 
images awoke all the vague religious feeling that slum- 
bered in the souls of men." He also embodied in several 
books the impressions derived from his extensive travels, 
which Included a visit to America, 1791-1792. The de- 
scriptions of nature which form the background of all 
his writings are impregnated with subjective feeling. 
As M. Lebon says, "no writer has ever painted more 
faithfully or poetically the all-compelling, somber or 
gracious spell of the night, the solemnity of primeval 
forests and prairies, the misty skies of Germany, the 
sunlight of Italy, the loveliness of Greek mountains or 
the varied colors of Arab encampments." Moreover, in 



his "Genius of Christianity/' Chateaubriand inculcated 
new artistic Ideals; the abandonment of conventional, 
vexatious rules for liberty of spirit; the Interpretation 
of the grandeur and the beauty of nature and the ex- 
pression of real emotion In place of depicting drawing- 
room manners and mythological scenes. Under his In- 
fluence writers turned for Inspiration to Shakespeare, 
Scott, Schiller and Goethe, whose works began to be 
translated into French; and to the Bible, Gothic art, 
medievalism and history In general. 

The Influence of Madame de Stael complemented that 
of Chateaubriand. In her novel, "Corinne," published In 
the same year as the latter *s "Rene/ 5 and In "Delphine" 
(1807) she also indulges In the personal note and proves 
herself to be sentimental and romantic. On the other 
hand her main characteristic Is that of a thinker. In 
her "Literature considered In its relation to Social In- 
stitutions" she declared, "The object of literature is no 
longer to be, as In the eighteenth century, merely the 
art of writing; it is to be the art of thinking, and the 
standard of literary greatness will be found in the prog- 
ress of civilization." She broke away from the old 
method of criticism which merely searched for beauties 
and defects, and substituted as a basis the examination 
of a work of art in relation to the circumstances of its 
time and the psychology of its author. In fact, to quote 
M. Lanson, "Madame de Stael furnished the Roman- 
ticists with ideas, theories and a method of criticism: 
Chateaubriand gave them an ideal, desire and the means 
of enjoying them. The woman defined where the man 

POT 3 


The most brilliant of the younger band who were 
more or less directly inspired by these two writers com- 
prised Victor Hugo, Alfred de Vigny, Lamartine, Al- 
fred de Musset, Saint-Beuve, Theopfaile Gautier, Ber- 
anger and the historians Thierry, Guizot and Michelet, 
who transformed the historical method by infusing Into 
it life and color. For life in its infinite, colorful variety 
of experience and sensations, set against the color of 
surrounding nature and conditions, was the theme which 
variously occupied these diverse minds. As the doc- 
trines of Romanticism were formulated by Victor Hugo 
in the preface to his drama, Cromwell (1827), it aimed 
to rejuvenate art by giving it a new dress and a new 
coloring, to represent human nature with its real pas- 
sions and weaknesses, to seek a background for emo- 
tions in the world of nature and to give local and histori- 
cal truth to the heroes of the drama. 

Of this atmosphere so charged with revolt from 
classical tradition and with ideals of the future, it would 
have been strange if painters had escaped the influence. 
As a matter of fact early in the century they became 
participators of the general impulse. Even David 
yielded a little to it when he painted his masterpiece, 
The Coronation of Napoleon in N6tre-Dame y now hang- 
ing in the Louvre. This canvas of superlative magnif- 
icence does more than extol the pride of the Emperor. 
It is no mere official emblazoning of an autocrat's glori- 
fication, as were the state canvases of the Grand Mon- 
arch. It represents also the exultation of a nation, 
glorying in its newly awakened life and the grandeur 
of its possibilities. 





But the painter who directly marks the transition to- 
ward Romanticism is one of David's pupils. Baron An- 
toine Jean Gros (1771-1885). He accompanied the 
French army during the campaign In Italy, and attracted 
the notice of Napoleon, then General Bonaparte, who 
after he had become Emperor commissioned Mm to paint 
the large pictures in the Louvre, representing Bona- 
parte on the Bridge at Arcola, Bonaparte visiting the 
Plague-stricken at Jaffa and Napoleon at Eylau* In 
these Gros abandoned the bas-relief compositions of 
impersonal antique figures in heroic postures for per- 
sonages of the day, individually characterized and 
grouped with reference to the actions of the drama In 
which they are engaged. The coloring Is no longer that 
of tinted marble, but has qualities of esthetic appeal. 
< In their expression of the emotions, aroused by the hor- 
ror and glory of war, these pictures are a foretaste of the 
storm and stress of Romanticism. In their record of 
events* actually witnessed or imagined as the result of 
visual experience they anticipate the Realistic motive, 
while their tribute to the Emperor sets the key for the 
Napoleonic legend which the imagination of Frenchmen 
was weaving around the national hero. The younger 
generation recognized in Gros an inspiration. He had, 
In fact, all the qualities of a leader save belief In his own 
convictions. He could never free himself from the 
trammels of David's authority. The old master remon- 
strated with him for painting these "worthless occasional 
pieces/* "Posterity requires of you/' urged David, 
"good pictures out of ancient history. 'Who,' she will 
cry, Vas better fitted to paint Themistocles?* Quick, 


my friend, turn to your Plutarch." Gros' faith In him- 
self was shaken. Later after the death of Girodet, who 
with Pierre Narcisse Guerin (1744-1838) had succeeded 
to the leadership of David, he yielded to the entreaties 
of the Academicians that he should head their fight 
against the hot-brained foes of classicalism. Yet he 
recognized the anomaly of his position. "I have not 
only no authority as leader of a school/' he said, "but, 
over and above that, I have to accuse myself of giving 
the first bad example of defection from real art." 
Gradually his own pictures became paralyzed by the dead 
hand of classicalism, until in 1835 appeared the weari- 
some rhodomontade of Hercules Causing Diomedes to 
be Devoured by Ms own Horses. It was ridiculed alike 
by artists and the critics. Gros was overcome with de- 
spair. What he knew to be his natural temperament he 
had sacrificed to what he supposed to be his duty. And 
in vain. The flood of Romanticism was now at full tide 
and his efforts to stem it had overwhelmed him in humil- 
iation. He drowned himself in the Seine. 


Meanwhile, the note sounded by Gros in his earlier 
days had been repeated in a triple blast by Theodore 
Gericault (1791-1824), who thus became the actual 
leader of the younger generation. Like Delacroix he 
served Ms apprenticeship in Guerin's studio. But he 
had no use for the master's tame and elegant classical- 
ism. A sturdy son of Normandy, he had grown up near 
tibe sea, prone to seriousness and nourishing a passionate 
nature on the elemental force and movement of wave 
and sky. Expressions of these qualities he found at 


first in horses, encouraged thereto by a short experience 
in the-studio of Horace Vernet (1789-1863) , painter of 
battle scenes. In 1812 he sent to the Salon An Officer 
of the Chasseur-Guards, the portrait of a 51. Dieu- 
donne: the figure seen against a lofty sky, mounted on a 
rearing charger and brandishing a saber. It was fol- 
lowed two years later by The Wounded Cuirassier., who, 
grasping the bridle of his horse, is slowly dragging his 
body from the battlefield. The design and character of 
the former may have been suggested by the central fig- 
ure of Napoleon in The Battle of the Pyramids by Gros ; 
but the latter, in its direct and telling expression of pain 
and simple appeal to sympathetic emotion, had the shock 
of novelty, which acted upon the younger men like a call 
to arms. They gathered around this youth of twenty- 
one and looked up to him as a leader. Delacroix, his 
junior by some years, was among those who posed for his 
next picture, TJie Raft of the Medusa., which was shown 
in 1821. The survivors of the wreck have been floating 
aimlessly without food or water for twelve days; the 
original one hundred and fifty have been reduced to 
fifteen; they are in the last stages of exhaustion; one 
already a corpse; but a passing sail has been sighted, and 
a sailor and negro, more hardy than the rest, are waving 
their shirts to attract attention. To the cool and col- 
lected spectator of to-day the traces of classical artifice 
are still apparent in the pyramidal design of the compo- 
sition and the reliance on nude figures. In the coloring 
of the latter he will note also a prevalence of brown. 
Yet, if we try to put ourselves into the position of the 
young artists of the period, thrilling with the enthusiasm 


of their modern life, conscious of passionate yearnings 
and yet cribbed, cabined and confined In the meshes of a 
frigid convention, devoted to nerveless expositions of the 
past, it is not difficult to reaEze the amazing revelation 
of this picture. In importance It represents Gericault's 
masterpiece, although The Eace for the Derby is techni- 
cally finer and Involves a still further audacity of -Innova- 
tion. Shortly after his return from England, where he 
had painted this picture, Gericault was Injured In the 
spine by a fall from his horse. He lingered for two 
years and then died at the age of thirty-three, before he 
had time to realize the full measure of his genius. His 

mantle fell upon Delacroix, 

* * 

Ferdinand Victor Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) 
was to Romanticism in painting what Victor Hugo was 
to Its expression In literature : an undisputed leader, on 
whom the hatred of outraged Academicalism was con- 
centrated. Yet he had nothing of Hugo's stoutness of 
physical fiber, being a man of feeble constitution and in- 
clined, like Alfred de Musset, to sickliness of soul. Nor 
had he the shifting violence of Hugo's temperament. 
He possessed a clear and logical intellect that, on the 
one hand, compelled him to base his art on scientific 
study of the qualities of color and, on the other hand, 
could challenge his adversaries with pen as well as with 
the masterpieces of his brush. He made his appear- 
ance In the arena In 1822 with Daniels Bark. Like 
David's Oath of the Horatn, it is an epoch-making 
picture and has been justly called "the first characteris- 
tic painting of the new century." 





Who does not recall the subject? Charon's bare 
back straining as he drives his crazy boat through the 
greenish Hue water, churned Into foam by the con- 
tortions of the damned to whom Heaven and Hell are 
alike closed; Dante, awe-struck, and tottering in his 
balance; Virgil, whose shade has passed beyond human 
emotion, poised and calm; the fires of Phiegethron 
smoldering in the distance. It is still pyramidal in 
composition, with recourse to the expedient of the nude; 
yet it passes far ahead of The Raft of the Medusa In 
physiognomical expression and in the imagination 
which has realized the varieties of individual torment. 
The distinction of this picture, however, rests chiefly on 
its use of color. Color once more has been restored 
to painting. It has become a medium of emotional 
expression and has asserted its supremacy over the 
strictly modeled outline of the school of draftsmanship 
and marbleized painting. Well might the veteran, 
David, exclaim, ff D*ou vient-iU Je ne connais pa 
cette louche la?* This youngster had taken a classical 
theme but had made it live to the modern imagination, 
More than that, he had joined hands with Watteau 
and the finest spirits of the eighteenth century in mental 
admiration of Rubens and the latter's adjustment to 
Northern art of the glories of Venetian painting. 
Through the example of Delacroix, who is said to have 
devoted the first half hour of each day to drawing 
from Rubens, the Flemish artist became again the fer- 
tilizer of French art. 

But where there is really life there is always move- 
ment forward and Delacroix's next picture, the Mas- 


mere of Chios, exhibited in 1824, passes beyond the 
Rubens influence In the fact that It commemorates the 
emotion of the artist's own time. To a nation, vibrat- 
ing with the trumpet call of Liberty, the heroic struggle 
of the Greeks for freedom could not fall of a response. 
It had been fired also by the poetry and example of 
Lord Byron, one of the high priests in the hierarchy 
of the French Romanticists. That his death had oc- 
curred at Missalonghi in the April preceding the Salon 
of 1824 was a coincidence which must have added to 
the sensation aroused by Delacroix's picture. 

But the latter represents also a technical advance 
beyond the Dante's Bark. Its composition has ex- 
changed geometrical formality for an organized ir- 
regularity of grouping and the color scheme also is 
more highly organized, more subtle and splendid. 
Instead of the murk of color which is fittingly char- 
acteristic of the other subject, the human horror is dis- 
played against a beautiful golden brown landscape and 
a blue sky, radiant with luminosity. Further, there 
is an orchestration of tone which reveals the imagina- 
tion and mastery of the color-composer, the real color- 
ist. Delacroix in this picture had already surpassed 
all previous French painters in emulating the splendors 
of Rubens. 

It is interesting to note that in this picture he was 
stirred to emulation of Constable. Gericault had 
written from England, "It is here only that color and 
effect are understood and felt"; and at the Salon of 
1824, still held in the Louvre, some of Constable's 
landscapes were shown. They made so powerful an 


impression on Delacroix that at the last moment, while 
his own picture hung in its place, he added touches 

to enhance its brilliance and luminosity. Later he 
frequently gave expression in his writings to the in- 
spiration which the early French Romantic movement 
owed to the English artist's example, 

In 1825 Delacroix visited England, studying not 
only British painting but also the literature and 
drama; and gaining his first knowledge of "Faust" 
through an English opera. Three years later he pub- 
lished a cycle of illustrations to accompany a French 
translation of the poem and followed it up with a series 
of lithographs of Shakespearian subjects. 

For, as Muther points out, while the word "Ro- 
mantic" as first used in Germany was equivalent to 
"Roman," the German Romanticists being moved to 
enthusiasm for Roman-Catholicism and Roman 
Church painting, the term in France had an exactly 
opposite meaning. It implied a preference for the 
English and German spirit, as compared with the 
Greek and Roman, and an enthusiasm for the Anglo- 
Saxon and German poets, Shakespeare and Goethe, in 
whom, as contrasted with Racine's correctness, were 
to be found unrestrained genius and animated passion. 

The Bark had scandalized the Academy: the Mas- 
sacre infuriated it. Gros called it the "massacre of 
painting 55 : others prophesied that this "dramatic ex- 
pression and composition marked by action" would 
wreck the "grand style" of painting. Even its beauty 
of color was held to belong to an inferior kind of art, 
since it involved the sacrifice of the contours of the 


figures and was based upon ugliness of form. Dela- 
croix became, and continued to be throughout his life, 
the target on which was concentrated the envenomed 
arrows of Academic criticism. He was accused of 
painting with a drunken broom and, since his birth- 
place was Charenton, the site of a state lunatic asylum, 
was called "the runaway of Charenton." No painter 
was ever so loaded with gross abuse. He was sup- 
ported by Theophile Gautier, Thiers, Victor Hugo, 
Saint-Beuve, Baudelaire, Biirger-Thore, Gustave 
Planche and Paul Mantz; but even his supporters 
caused him some distress, for they styled him the 
Hugo of painting and thrust him into a position of 
radicalism that did violence to his own reverence for the 
art of the past. Nor did his own temperament per- 
mit him to rest silent under all this opprobrium and 
misrepresentation. Frail of physique, sick of soul, 
and during the latter part of his life a victim to com- 
plicated diseases, he was drawn into a conflict which 
kept his flaming imagination continually at fever heat. 
Yet Ms writings, contributed to the Revue des Deua? 
Mondes are models of criticism, expressed in the fine 
classical style, characteristic of his admiration for 

He contended for a comprehension of art not limited 
to the beautiful as the sole, supreme end; but admitting 
the claims of character and emotion. "This famous 
thing, the beautiful," he wrote, "must be every one 
says so the first aim of art. But if it be the only 
aim, what then are we to make of men like Rubens, 
Rembrandt and in general all the artistic natures of 

Cue 3 




the North^ who preferred other qualities belonging- to 
their art? Is the sense of the beautiful that impres- 
sion which is made on us by a picture by Velasquez, an 
etching by Rembrandt or a scene out of Shakespeare? 
Or again, is the beautiful revealed to us by contempla- 
tion of straight noses and correctly disposed draperies 
of Girodet, Gerard and other pupils of David. A 
satyr is beautiful, a faun is beautiful. The antique 
bust of Socrates is full of character notwithstanding 
its flattened nose, its swollen lips and small eyes. In 
Paul Veronese's Marriage at Cana I see men of various 
features and of every temperament and I find them 
to be living beings, full of passion. Are they beau- 
tiful? Perhaps. But in any case there is no recipe 
by means of which one -can attain to what is called 
the ideally beautiful. Style depends absolutely and 
solely upon the free and original expression of each 
master's peculiar qualities. Whenever a painter sets 
himself to follow a conventional mode of expression, 
he will become affected and will lose his own peculiar 
impress. But when, on the contrary, he frankly aban- 
dons himself to the impulse of his own originality he 
will ever be, whether his name be Raphael, Michel- 
angelo, Rubens or Rembrandt, securely master of his 
soul and of his art/' 

A turning-point in Delacroix's life, which proved 
to be an epoch in French art, came in 1832, when he 
accompanied an embassy to the Court of Morocco and 
returned home by way of Algiers and Spain. The 
imagination of the colorist bathed in the splendors of 
southern sunshine and broadened its vision by experi- 


ence of the colorful picturesqueness of Oriental life, 
He writes to a correspondent of the "sublime and fas- 
cinating life." "Think, my friend, what it means for 
a painter to see lying in the sunshine, wandering about 
the streets and offering shoes for sale, men who have 
the appearance of ancient consuls, of the revivified 
ghosts of Plato and Brutus, and who do not lack even 
that proud, discontented look which those lords of the 
earth must have had. They possess nothing but a 
blanket in which they walk, sleep and are buried, and 
yet they look as dignified as Cicero in his curule chair. 
How much truth, how much nobility in these figures! 
There is nothing more beautiful in the antique." 

Here speaks the real lover of the antique, who recog- 
nizes the eternal verity of its spirit; as contrasted with 
the attitude of classicalism that would flatter it by 
imitation. The distinction has never been better ex- 
pressed than by the third Earl of Shaftesbury in his 
forgotten work, "Characteristics of Man, Matters, 
Opinions and Times/ 5 published in 1711. He criti- 
cizes those who try to reproduce the form instead of 
the spirit of the Classic and says, "We should not imi- 
tate but emulate the Greeks, for we shall be most 
like the Greeks when most ourselves." This observa- 
tion is applicable to Delacroix. He was always him- 
self; yet even in his most turbulent pictures, such as 
Horses Fighting in a Stable, in his scenes of intense 
tragedy like the Medea, about to kill her children, 
where the antique drama thrills with modern emotion, 
one detects the Greek spirit of poise asserted. Their 
effect is not produced, as in Victor Hugo's dramas, 


by shocks of contrast, but by a subtlety of ensemble* 
which, to use a term of the modem French studios, is 
elaborately organise* Delacroix, in fact, for all the fire 
and splendor of Ms torrential imagination, reveals the 
poise and tact of restraint which are distinctively char- 
acteristic of French art. It is the over-enthusiasm of his 
supporters and the virulence of his opponents which 
have fastened upon Delacroix the reputation of an 



F BENCH Romanticism both in literature and 
painting was no exception to the rule that Ro- 
manticism appears as a protest and is of brief 
duration. Gusty with passion and inflamed with a love 
of the unusual, the surprising and the tempestuous, and 
usually inspired by what seems to be the glamour of the 
past, It lacks the elements of continuity and advance. 
Long before Delacroix's death in 1863 the mantle which 
he had received from Gericault had outworn Its useful- 
ness and the fashion of the time-spirit. Even Victor 
Hugo was being regarded as the "Pater Bombasticus" 
of French literature. The Revolution of 1830, in a po- 
litical sense, had been a triumph of the bourgeoisie,, and 
the reign of Louis Philippe, the "bourgeois-king," 
had been a period of compromise, characterized by the 
worship of the " ' juste-milieuf* This had been upset 
by the Revolution of 1848 and France had plunged 
into the meretricious splendor and extravagance of the 
Second Empire, an era of nabobs and financial ad- 
venturers and of crass philistinism. 

Romanticism, which had begun as a Revolution, had 
passed into an evolution; its heat no longer central 
but diffused. In its original form it had been inspired 
by, and largely drew its subjects from, legends and 


poetry; not to Illustrate but to interpret them through 

the separate art of painting. Xow, however, the 
sources of inspiration were rather those of history and 
nature. Taking advantage, on the one hand, of the 
vogue created by the new school of historians, compris- 
ing Thiers, Guizot and Michelet, the successors of 
Romanticism were indulging their milder emotions in 
scenes of history* On the other hand, the inspiration 
of nature, which, as we have noted, the writings of 
Chateaubriand did so much to popularize, was being 
differently employed. It had attracted the early 
Romanticists to nature's grand, sublime and more 
phenomenal appearances; under the influence of Con- 
stable and the old Holland landscapists whom his 
example had lead the French artists to study, a new 
motive had been evolved: the poetical rendering of the 
"paysage intime** Corot, Rousseau,, Dupre, Dau- 
bigny, Troyan, Diaz and Millet were representative 
of the spirit of 1830, in that they also revolted against 
the conventions of the Academy. They possessed, in 
their several ways, a measure of the Romantic spirit; 
but instead of painting subjects from poetry, which 
demand for a full appreciation of their import a 
knowledge of the original, they infused with the en- 
chantment of poetic quality scenes of nature that need 

no literary background. 


Thoroughly characteristic of the period of the " juste- 
milieu'" was Paul Delaroche (1797-1856) who at- 
tempted the role of being all things to all men. He 
coquetted with the taste for historic-romantic pictures 

n 121:1 


in such subjects as The Assassination of the Duke of 
Guise, Oliver Cromwell Viewing the Body of Charles 
I, The Young Princes in the Tower; and squared him- 
self with the Academy by his Hemicycle of the Arts 
in the IJicole des Beaux Arts. In all, one feels the 
influence of the model and the reliance upon the cos- 
tume cupboard and property room. Industriously cor- 
rect in costuming and drawing, the historical subjects 
never reach the depth of tragedy, but have a mild emo- 
tional propriety, calculated to interest without shock- 
ing. Correct also but absolutely null is the effect in the 
Hemicycle of the wise men of all times, brought together 
by the art of the costumier, and waiting in a classic 
anteroom for nothing whatever to happen. 

Another, though a more skilful, trimmer was 
Thomas Couture (1815-1879) whose Romans of the 
Decadence won for him a sensational reputation which 
he was unable to maintain. But, seen to-day, this bac- 
chanalian orgy of men and women, classically grouped 
around, over and under the tables, while it has some 
distinction of color, rings very hollow. It has neither 
classical dignity nor the love of sensuous abandon. No 
figure really lives its part; all are stage supers, whose 
attitudes and expressions have been systematically re- 

Still other examples of men who, though out and out 
Academicians, took advantage of the historical vogue 
and of the growing importance of the nature-motive, 
were Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889), William 
Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) and Leon Gerome 
(1824-1904). Cabanel was the best painter of the 


three; but, except In the case of his portraits, ex- 
pended his skill on the tricking up of a model in various 
draperies and attitudes of seduction, posed to sug- 
gest this or that heroine of historical scandal. While 
these tickled one kind of taste of the newly rich, the 
innocent prettiness of Bouguereau's girls and children* 
rendered in an enlarged manner of china-painting, 
pleased another; while Gerome indifferently played to 
all the foibles of those who see nothing in a picture but 
the subject. The three became painters-in-ordinary to 
rich Americans and enjoyed every honor that French 
officialdom bestows on its successful, as opposed to its 
great, painters. 

For convenience we may here anticipate the vogue 
of the neatly painted costume picture, the small child of 
the historical canvas, fathered so profitably for himself 
by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier (1815-1891)* A 
skilful and untiring craftsman without an atom of 
imagination, he shared the enthusiasm of the crowd for 
microscopic detail and a furniture-polish finish, and 
charmed from the pockets of nabobs extravagantly 
fancy prices which it is pretty safe to say his works will 
never again fetch. The popularity of these little 
Rococo pictures was equaled by that of his cycle com- 
memorating the Great Napoleon. He had begun by 
flattering the third Napoleon's vanity to emulate the 
military glory of his uncle, painting him surrounded by 
his staff, witnessing the Battle of Solfenno. In 1870 
Meissonier accompanied his patron to the front, but 
after the disaster of Sedan, returned to Paris and en- 
listed for its defense in the artists* corps. When peace 


was resumed he commenced his series on the Napoleonic 
theme. They represented the same method as his 
smaller pictures, multiplied to cover the larger surface, 
and were for the same reason equally popular. Meis- 
sonier could paint only what he saw in front of him at 
close range, and could not refrain from reproducing 
everything that he saw in it. His eye was a human 
camera, and the results are those of photography, when 
uncontrolled by selection and elimination on the part of 
the operator, 

From this digression we may revert to our suhject by 
way of another painter of the Napoleonic legend, Denis 
Auguste Marie Raffet (1804-1860), whose work re- 
flects the ardor and imagination of Romanticism. He 
was a pupil of Gros and also of Nicolas Toussaint Char- 
let (1792-1845). The latter was indefatigable in 
presenting with pencil and brush the person of "the 
little corporal" and the types of veterans of the Grand 
Army. His drawings and pictures were for the most 
part clearly recorded facts of keen observation. But 
in at least one of his subjects Charlet displays imagina- 
tion. Of his Episode in the Retreat from Russia, which 
appeared in the Salon of 1836, Alfred de Musset wrote 
that it was "not an episode but a complete poem" in 
which the artist had realized "the despair in the desert." 
It was a similar quality of fathoming the reality of war, 
such as Gros had also exhibited, which characterizes 
the works of Raffet, in which he follows, step by step, 
as it were, the fortunes of Napoleon and the Grand 
Army, in its glories and its scarcely less glorious humil- 
iation. The last of the cycle is The Midnight Review, 



in which the ghost of Xapoleon has summoned from 
eternity his spectral hosts, which surge about him in 
dashing waves of silence. It reveals Raffet's power of 
handling masses of troops, so as to realize the effect of 
their mass and its collective fire and force. His genius 
was, in fact, the very opposite of Meissonier's nigging 
with details which impair the impressiveness of the 
whole. Equally he excelled in sincerity the rapid-fire 
dexterity of Horace Yernet (1789-1863) . The fetter's 
Mazeppa, popularized by lithographs, showed some- 
thing of the Jtomantic spirit ; but Vernet, the pupil of 
his father and accustomed to the brush from childhood, 
had an extraordinary facility, which outran his art and 
left him merely an exceedingly versatile practitioner. 
His series of battle canvases in Versailles show how 
thoroughly he had mastered the externals of the soldier's 
career, but also that he had missed its spirit. His pic- 
tures suggest little of the reality of war and seem rather 

like martial exhibitions in a hippodrome. 


A strangely interesting bi-product of the Romantic 
period is Honore Dauinier (1808-1879). His pictures 
are comparatively few in number, one of the finest be- 
ing Le Wagon de Tromeme Classe, owned in America 
by Mr. Borden. The row of people, crowded on the 
seat of the bare coach, represents familiar types of the 
lower classes, characterized with an unerring grasp of 
physiognomical essentials and brushed in with a free 
stroke that glides over unessentials and fixes emphatic- 
ally the salient features. Similar qualities distinguish 
the drawings for the comic papers, notably for 

125 3 


Charivari, which form the bulk of Daumier's work. In 
these the bmshwork is replaced by lines of extraor- 
dinary integrity, meaning and power. These periodic 
records of the human comedy during the reign of Louis 
Philippe, while they hit off the follies of the time, throb 
with an undertone of the tragedy of life. In his Emo- 
tions Parmennes and BoJiemiens de Paris he reveals the 
horrors of hunger and suffering as well as the impu- 
dence of vice; in his Histoire Andenne he parodies the 
absurdities of classicalism, while Le Venire Legislatif 
dealt such a blow at the smug hypocrisy and compromise 
of the bourgeois rule that it materially contributed to 
the Revolution of 1848. When Daubigny visited the 
Sistine Chapel and viewed the ceiling of Michelangelo, 
he is said to have exclaimed, "It looks as if it had been 
done by Daumier." There is an aptness in the sugges- 
tion, for, beneath the laugh, in Daumier's drawings lie 
trenchant force, a vital economy of means, magnificence 
of plastic realization and grim intensity of purpose. 
Within his province, Daumier was a master of the truly 
grand style, whose influence, as we shall note later, 
helped to mold the art of Jean Franois Millet. 


After Delacroix had set the example by his visit to 
Morocco, Egypt and the East became to the Romanti- 
cists what Italy had been to the Classicists. Here in the 
actual facts of life and the presence of nature they could 
see the glow and color and stir of movement, which 
hitherto had fermented only in their imagination, as- 
sisted by the promptings of poetry and legend. None 
derived from the experience more inspiration, suited to 


Ms particular needs than Alexandre Decamps (1803- 
I860) . For he was first and last a painter to the finger 
tips ; to whom everything that possessed color and move- 
ment was sufficient for a subject. And such he found 
at every turn In the wonderland of the East. Among 
his earliest examples in this vein is the beautiful Night 
Patrol at Smyrna of the Metropolitan Museum. He Is 
inadequately represented in the Louvre, and to study 
him in the variety of Ms Oriental and Biblical subjects 
and In his water-colors a visit must be paid to the Wal- 
lace Collection. One of the finest here is TJie Watering 
Place: a row of Arab horsemen watering their horses at 
a trough, beneath a high wall which catches the light* 
It comes, perhaps, nearest to justifying the reputation 
Decamps held among Ms contemporaries of being a 
painter of light ; but at the same time shows that he was 
not one in the modern sense. For It Is rather through 
the contrast of deep masses of shadow that he renders 
a suggestion of light, and the shadows have darkened. 
His effects, indeed, are obtained not so much by render- 
ing nature as by device of art; wMch in these days, when 
art Is so often sacrificed to nature, may tend rather to in- 
crease one's estimate of Decamps* 

With less of the latter's color-sense and virtuosity of 
brushwork, Prosper Marilhat (1811-1847) rendered 
the East in a spirit of quiet poetry. Between the years 
1833 and 1844 he was the only serious rival of Decamps 
in the Oriental genre. But after the latter date he dis- 
appears. Failure to be awarded the Cross of the 
Legion of Honor brought on a melancholy, resulting 
in insanity from wMch he died at the age of thirty-six. 



With Eugene Fromentin (1820-1876) the original 

fervor of the Oriental painter evaporates into elegant 
refinement. The esprit gaulois reasserts itself in the 
grace, distinction and nervous poise of these Oriental 
compositions, where the loveliness of the landscape is 

sprinkled with Arab chivalry, as dainty as groups of 
delicate and gaily-colored flowers. 

* * 

Meanwhile, unattracted by the lure of the East, Paul 
Huet (1804-1869) and Georges Michel (1753-1843) 
found a vent for their emotional temperaments in paint- 
ing the home landscape. Huet, though the younger 
man, may be mentioned first, since in his day he was 
recognized as a part of the Romantic movement. Some- 
thing of the Byronic attitude toward nature possessed 
him ; a passion for splendor of colored skies, for stormy 
movement of clouds and water, contrast and shocks of 
storms; and the struggle of humanity with the vicissi- 
tudes of nature. His earlier works are not free from 
the criticism of being theatrical in effect, while the sim- 
pler ones which followed found themselves in competi- 
tion with the Barbizon landscape and suffered by com- 

Michel, on the other hand, entirely unknown to his 
generation, has attained through the vogue of the Bar- 
bizon pictures a posthumous fame. The appearance 
of some of his landscapes at the International Exhibi- 
tion of 1889, attracted attention to this solitary artist, 
whose genius had hitherto been overlooked save by a few 
connoisseurs. The meager facts of his life were un- 
earthed: "that at twelve years old he had shirked school 


to go drawing; at fifteen had run away with a laundress 
and was the father of five children at the age of twenty; 
that he had married again when he was sixty-five and 
worked hard until his eightieth year/ 7 It was recalled 
that after the Revolution he painted many landscapes in 
the classical style, 'but had certainly disappeared from 
the Salon since 1814. In later life he gained a liveli- 
hood by restoring pictures, and may in this way have 
been drawn to study the Dutch seventeenth century 
landscapes. At any rate they seem to have directed him 
to the painting of the simple landscape in its natural 
aspects. "The man who cannot find/' he is reported to 
have said, "enough to paint during his whole life in a 
circuit of four miles is in reality no artist. Did the 
Dutch ever run from one place to another? And yet 
they are good painters, and not merely that, but the 
most powerful, bold and ideal artists." He found his 
own circuit in the plains of Montmartre. His pictures 
play upon the theme of level sweeps of land, interrupted 
by low, undulating hills; seamed with long winding 
roads, pricked here and there with a church or farm- 
house, or occasionally thrusting a dark windmill against 
the wide expanse of sky. The earth, brown-soiled, its 
yellow herbage scantily varied with deep green, now 
basks beneath a whitish sky, now shivers in the gloom of 
a leaden-purple storm-cloud, fringed with rain, or 
under the shifty cloud-currents is streaked with light 
and shadow. Over all broods a spirit, large, aloof, ele- 

Michel is the link between the earlier Romanticists 
and the poetry of the pay sage intime. 




A SECOND time in the story of French 
painting Fontainebleau becomes the nucleus 
of a fresh departure. Three centuries ear- 
lier Francis I had invited thither Italian artists, thus 
giving royal indorsement to the inauguration of the 
French Renaissance. Now a group of artists, settling 
in Barbizon on the edge of the Forest, developed a new 
motive: the poetry of the pay sage intime. 

A great difference separates the two events. The 
earlier, an aristocratic movement, had been an infusion 
of French If e and thought and art with the southern 
culture of Greece, Rome and Italy; a recovering of the 
birthright of the nation in one of the sources of its race 
and civilization; an assertion of the Mediterranean ele- 
ment in its mixed ancestry. The new movement is 
democratic, its origin not only northern but essentially 
French. It represents the northern independence and 
interest in the facts of nature, and expends its enthusi- 
asm on the native landscape of the simple countryside. 
But it is also tinged with the Romanticism of its day, 
so that its exponents are not satisfied to render nature 
objectively. They bring feeling to interpret what 
they see and translate their own sensations into poems 
of nature's moods. 


The suggestion of the paymge intime* as Delacroix 
explains in Ms "Question stir le Bean/' published in the 
Mevue des "Deuat Mondes, in 1854, came from England. 
At the Salon of 1824, held in the Louvre, Constable 
and Bonington were represented, as well as Copley 
Fielding, Harding, Samuel Prout and Varley, while 
Constable continued to exhibit annually until 1828. 
In the Salon of 1831 appeared for the first time the 
young Frenchmen whose names are now immortalized. 
Rousseau made his first visit to Fontainebleau in 1833, 
when he was twenty-one years old. The following year 
he painted the Cote de Granwlle* which was awarded a 
medal of the third class. Thenceforth, for twelve 
years, Ms pictures were rejected from the Salon, not- 
withstanding the fight urged on his behalf by Biirger- 
Thore, Gustave Planche and Theophile Gautier. It 
was not until the Revolution of 1848 had overturned 
the sway of bourgeois officialdom that the Salon was 
opened to him- Meanwhile Corot discovered Barbizon 
and Rousseau about I835 5 when he was nearing his for- 
tieth year, just as some eight years previously he had 
become acquainted at the Salon with the works of Con- 
stable and Bonington. Both experiences left their 
impression upon the slow process of Ms evolution out 
of the classicalism which he had derived from his 
teacher, Bertin. He was turned fifty before the result 
of these various influences were fully assimilated into 
the manner that is peculiarly his own. 

These two, Corot and Rousseau, typify the elements 
which compose the poetry of the paysage intime. 
Rousseau, son of a small tailor, inured to poverty and 

181 3 


born to sorrow "as the sparks fly up," was inspired by 
a love of nature that In Its Intensity amounted to wor- 
ship, while his study of nature involved an exactitude 
that was almost mathematical and a rendering of it that 
vies with the plasticity of sculpture. Corot, on the 
other hand, whose parents were court modistes, was a 
stranger to want and vexation of spirit; one of those 
rare natures on whom the smile of childhood lingers to 
the end; an avatar of the Greek spirit that lurks in the 
spiritual alertness of the esprit gaulois. For Corot's 
temperament was classic in the true sense; trembling to 
the subtlest suggestion of nature, but also governed by 

a delicate sense of poise, harmony and rhythm. 


It Is not unusual to describe Corot's artistic career 
as a gradual release from the bondage of classlcalism 
Into the liberty of nature. But rather It represents the 
slowly accomplished union of the two inspirations : that 
of Nature and the Classic. So far from his early affilia- 
tions with Bertln's classlcalism being a deplorable de- 
ferring of his artistic salvation, it was a necessary and 
fruitful approach thereto; one that to such a tempera- 
ment as Corot's was inevitable. It was through classi- 
calism that he had to discover himself , and he did so by 
discovering how classicalism differed from the Classic* 
He had to sift the true from the false. Nor was it 
from Barbizon or Rousseau that he derived his love of 
nature. It is more than latent in his early landscapes 
and figure-subjects which owe their immediate origin 
to his Italian visits. 

In fact, Corot's life was not chopped in half, as some 





writers would have us believe, "by a sudden conversion to 
the "true faith" at the age of fifty; after which he 
sloughed off Ms classieallsm and appeared as the re- 
generated and real Corot of our fancy. The truth Is, 
that Ms life was an unbroken and consistent whole; a 
young man's love for an ideal, bodied in nature's form 
and spiritualized by the Classic soul; pursued through 
years of quietly ardent courfsMp, until Ms ideal was 
won and he dwelt with it In perfect amity. 

The better way to measure Corot's personalty and 
his place In French art Is not to compare him with 
Rousseau, as Is generally done, but rather with Poussin. 
For then one discovers that Corot Is joined to the latter 
In a lineage, characteristically French, wMle It Is 
through Constable to the Dutch, in direct line from 
Ruisdael, that Rousseau derived. Corot shared with 
Poussin both the northern love of nature and the rever- 
ence for the Classic. The earlier artist, however, still 
clung to the idea of nature as the scene of human emo- 
tions, uniting Ms mythological and Biblical figures 
with the landscape and composing nature and humanity 
into an arabesque, more distinguished by line and mass 
than by color. Corot, on the other hand, weds color 
with line in a unity wMch Is at once more unreservedly 
a vision of nature and more convincingly impregnated 
with the human spirit. The fact is, that in both re- 
spects, Poussin, alongside of Corot, Is a painter of land- 
scape genre, while the latter artist embodies the spirit 
of nature as it appeals to the spirit of man. For while 
Poussin harmonized man and nature pictorially, Corot 
effects a spiritual harmony, based upon undertones of 


order, balance and rhythm, such as were imagined and 
visualized by Hellenic artists. It has been well said 
that Corot did not paint nature, but his love of it ; and 
Ms love of it was saturated with the Classic spirit. 

Meanwhile a bond of similarity between Poussin and 
Corot consists in their abstract attitude toward the 
landscape. Compared with this Rousseau's landscapes 
seem local, Constable's still more so. The latter's are 
filled with the charm of familiarity. He is like Dau- 
bigny in his gift of making one feel at home in the in- 
timacy of the place. With Rousseau also the individu- 
ality of the scene is made familiar. One treads the spot 
with a feeling of being at home, although, it is true, 
one's imagination is drawn toward a wider significance, 
of which one is led to feel that the local is only a sym- 
bol. But, while Rousseau's intellect was fascinated 
with the facts around him and his spirit was that of a 
Prometheus, shackled in torment to the earth; Corot's 
is disengaged, more abstract. It soars lightly and 
songfully as the skylark, and, fluttering down, again, 
brings something of heaven to earth. His landscapes, 
in fact, are not halting places on the way to the univer- 
sal, as Rousseau's are, but spots of earth, transfigured by 
something of the universal having been drawn down 
into them. 

It may not be amiss to recall that in the interval since 
Poussin there had appeared the exquisitely French and 
spiritual art of Watteau. For there is more than a 
little analogy to Watteau in the poignant loveliness of 
Corot's landscape and in his peopling them with fig- 
ures. The latter, whether nymphs of classic pedigree 



or peasant folk are not only Impersonal but seem to be 
embodiments of the spirit of the scene; accidental notes 
in the harmony of universal music. 

The admiration felt for Corot's landscapes has 
tended to obscure the importance of his work In sub- 
jects where the figure plays the chief role. In almost 
all It is the female figure; treated at first for the sake of 
its objective personality, then gradually employed as 
a symbol of the eternal feminine. As Rousseau pre- 
eminently represents the male force in this Pleiad of 
landscape-painters, so Corot Is the unqualified embodi- 
ment of the female. His later figure-subjects are idyls 
of the grace and loveliness of spirituelle girlhood, in- 
stinct with the tender sprightliness of springtime and 
the subtle mystery of awakening day. 

In his earlier pictures which comprised the results of 
Ms first visit to Italy, he was intent upon the plastic 
qualities of form and gesture; later, In his numerous 
pictures of Parisian types, it was the spirit of the sub- 
ject at which he grasped, while in his final treatment of 
the figure, which followed his return from the second 
visit to Italy in 1843, he added the quality of tone. No 
less plastic, his figures have become more alive because 
they are enveloped in air; spherical forms in depth of 
atmosphere. By this time also they are more completely? 
wedded to the spirit of the scene, or if you will, the lat- 
ter is more inseparably incorporated in them, so that to 
reality Is added elusiveness of spiritual suggestion. It 
is on this side of his art, which he pursued intermittently 
with landscape, that Corot may be compared with Mil-* 
let. Their choice of subjects was very different, but 


both use the figure in relation to the landscape typic- 
ally; Millet to symbolize the age-old routine of labor in 
the scheme of the universe; Corot, nature's pervasive 
spirit of harmony and recurring youth. 

It is rather sentiment or convenience that links Corot 
with the "Barbizon School." He seldom visited the 
Forest, preferring Ville d'Avray and Paris. Nor was 
he as much in the habit of painting In the presence of 
nature as the others. His work In the open air was 
largely the storing of impressions, which he afterwards 
wrought into pictures in his Paris studio. For this 
reason and because of his Classic bias, Corot was scarcely 
accepted as a veritable nature-painter by Rousseau and 
his immediate circle. Nor was he one in the sense in 
which they understood the term. Possibly for that very 
reason his art has more of the universal quality and of 
inherent personal vitality. Certainly to-day he seems 

the most modern of the band. 


In a brilliant chapter of his "Maitre d' Autrefois" 
Eugene Fromentin shows how the Barbizon artists in- 
vaded and conquered the field of the seventeenth cen- 
tury Holland landscapists. And in this connection he 
pays the highest tribute to Theodore Rousseau. In 
doing so, however, he is disposed to overlook the influ- 
ence of Constable. The English artist's Hay Wain 
was seen by Rousseau in 1833, and the latter 's picture 
of the following year, Cote de Granville, now in the St. 
Petersburg Museum, shows, as Meier-Graefe observes, 
the influence unmistakably. Moreover, in the qualities 
which especially characterize the advance of Rousseau 


beyond the Hollanders ; namely, greater naturalness of 
color, movement of the tree-forms In atmosphere, and 
the abandonment of little particularities of detail for a 
more sweeping and comprehensive synthesis, Constable 
had anticipated the discoveries and progress of the Bar- 
bizon artist by a generation. Xor in the matter of sen- 
timent is the record otherwise. Making allowance for 
difference of temperament, Constable's art Is as expres- 
sive of the poetry of nature, that is to say, of the artist's 
love for nature, as that of any of the Barbizon group. 

But to recognize this is not to belittle Rousseau. It 
is only to view Mm from a different angle; to see his 
art through the more immediate prism, of Constable 
than the farther one of Rulsdael from whom both are 

Meanwhile, If one penetrates beyond these sources of 
inspiration to the personality itself of Rousseau, It Is to 
discover Its essentially Gallic character. What pre- 
ceded him in the art of Holland and of England be- 
comes in Rousseau a distinctively French incarnation. 
We can assure ourselves of this fact both by the objec- 
tive evidence of his pictures and by the psychology they 

It is French rural landscape, the appearance and 
spirit of it that Rousseau specifically interprets. If you 
are familiar with the French countryside and with that 
of Holland and of England and have come under the 
spell of their spirit, it is impossible not to feel that 
Rousseau Is thoroughly French both in his record and 
interpretation. How shall one characterize the differ- 
ence? Maybe, it is the snugness of England and the 


diminutive sweep of Holland that are contrasted with 
the wider sweep and more expansive intimacy of the 
French northern landscape. 

And psychologically the Gallic strain in Rousseau's 
art is equally perceptible. It involves a logic of ar- 
rangement, more organized than Constable's, more 
subtle than Ruisdael's. They say that Rousseau, as a 
boy, was proficient in mathematics. It may be true, 
for midway in his career as an artist the scientific bent 
of his mind was developed at the expense of the artistic. 
He became as rigid a student of the objective facts of 
nature as any Ruskin could desire. Meanwhile, his 
art, taken as a whole, reveals that architectonic quality 
which is peculiarly French. He lays the solid founda- 
tions of the ground, roots in it the trees and rocks and 
builds up their structures, giving to the trees a living 
vigor as of a giant bracing his huge body and stretch- 
ing the knotted muscles of his brawny limbs. And 
back of this stout and stable framework, richly sober 
and solid in color, he sets the sky, a contrast of evanes- 
cent movement, mysterious distance, light, and, often, 
of flaming color, of which the foreground catches a 
gleam in some quiet pool. It is said to have been Rous- 
seau's practice to postpone the painting of the sky un- 
til after he had realized his impression of the ground 
and trees. "It is probably true," observes M. Camille 
Monclair, "and this method of procedure was a rem- 
nant of the classical spirit." 

The surmise may be correct, but it does not go deep 
enough. Rousseau had the scientific intellect and an 
imagination profoundly impressed with the concrete, 


tangible evidence of force and energy. As an artist it 
was the elemental qualities of permanence and strength 
in nature that occupied his genius. Moreover, temper- 
amentally, he had little or nothing of the dreamer or 
visionary, who can disengage himself from the facts of 
earth and construct castles in the air. He was, on the 
contrary, a thinker, close, accurate and logical; a very 
serious one, leaning toward moroseness, more inclined 
to sensitiveness than sympathy. The latter or a sense 
of duty made him cling to his wife, a woman of the for- 
est, although she had become insane and Millet advised 
placing her in an asylum. But he became estranged 
from his devoted friend, Dupre, when the latter and not 
himself received the Cross of the Legion of Honor; 
and the suspicion is aroused that this or other official 
slights which Rousseau received were partly due to the 
attitude of mind expressed in his own words: "I am not 
understood" ; an idea which, if it grows to a fixity, may 
easily become morbid. 

One instance of misunderstanding Rousseau is ex- 
hibited by some writers who affirm that he had "but 
little of the imaginative temperament." The supposi- 
tion appears to result from the old-fashioned separa- 
tion of the "ideal" from the actual; the former being 
regarded as something fabricated by the imagination, 
floating on wings amid clouds, iridescent with light 
"that never was on sea or land/' Such was Italian 
idealism, the tradition of which persists unfortunately 
even to the present day; notwithstanding Rembrandt, 
Constable and the Barbizon artists. For it was part of 
their genius that they discovered and revealed the ideal 


in the everyday aspects of nature. They possessed that 
order of imagination which divines the noble in the com- 
monplace ; the beautiful in ugliness ; both aspiration and 
means of realization in the actual. Perhaps one might 
call this the scientific imagination as compared with the 
empiric. It is growing day by day to be the modern 
conception of the finest kind of imagination, notwith- 
standing that many artists do their best to retard the 
growth by clinging to the old remnant of the tradition- 
ary "ideal." They prate, for example, of an "ideal 
head/' which in plain English represents a girl's face, 
prettified out of likeness to nature: with smoothly bev- 
eled features, inflated eyeballs, simpering mouth, a 
china-finish to her complexion and a rose stuck coquet- 
tishly in her hair. Meanwhile the layman, recognizing 
that such and similar flub-dub contradicts the actualities 
of life, shrugs his shoulders and "guesses it 's all right" 
for artists, but that art clearly "has nothing in it" for 
the practical man. Whereupon the artist retorts that 
the latter is a philistine. 

Looked at in this modern light, Rousseau is found to 
have possessed not only imagination, but imagination 
of that very high order which anticipates the faith and 
consciousness of posterity. For to the vast majority 
of his contemporaries the "ideal landscape" was one 
fabricated out of the artist's fancy in the fashion of 
Claude Lorrain. To look for idealism in what the 
world considered vulgar ; to find it there and gradually 
to compel the world to recognize it that was the great 
gift of Rousseau to modern art and life. Perhaps only 
a Frenchman could have achieved it, since the prestige 


of Ms country was behind Mm. Constable, for example, 
was ignored by Ms own countrymen, until they had 
learned from France to value the poetry of the pay sage 
intime and so to offer belated and none too generous 
homage to their own artist who had helped to inspire it. 

That Rousseau should thus become recognized as the 
leader of the group and the father of modern land- 
scape was due to the qualities of his imagination, wMch 
may be summed up as force and concentration. His 
was not a roaming but a penetrating imagination, whose 
grip tightens to conviction. When one thinks of Rous- 
seau there rise to one's memory a stretch of rude, firm 
earth, some oaks and boulders; autumn time, noontide 
or sunset. These supply the motif for so many of Ms 
pictures. They symbolize for him those qualities of 
nature which Ms own qualities of imagination lead him 
to dwell upon: its permanence and strength. Nor do 
we find their repetition pall upon us. The artist's con- 
viction of their import is so absolutely his soul's faith 
that we join with him in worsMp of these elemental mys- 
teries. For mysteries they are felt to be; no longer 
ordinary facts, by the time they have been submitted to 
the alchemy of Rousseau's imagination. 

Some French Critic has remarked that the Louvre pic- 
ture, TJie Edge of the Forest., Sunset (p. 141) , presents 
a synthesis of Rousseau's art. There could scarcely be 
a nobler one. Oaks grouped to left and right, their 
upper branches locked in an embrace; a shattered stem 
and riven limbs, reminder of disorder in nature; a boul- 
der in solid contrast to the stable movement of the trees; 
a smaller oak beyond, bent over in compliance to supe- 


rior force, and a spreading level plain of pasture, sug- 
gesting the kindlier, more intimate permanence of na- 
ture; a sky, flushed with the glow of sunset, which dyes 
a pool close by us in the foreground, where cows, which 
have yielded their milk to human needs, are cooling 
tranquilly or drinking. Transmuted into the abstract 
by Rousseau's genius, this epic of nature and man's re- 
lation thereto is Iliad and Odyssey in one; the grandeur 
of life's strain and stress and the blessedness of suc- 
ceeding calm and relaxation. 

This picture is also characteristic of Rousseau's use 
of color; for, while he, like Corot, anticipates the Im- 
pressionists in the "division of color," which he may have 
learned from Constable or Delacroix, he still shows him- 
self a tonalist and an adherent of the old idea that har- 
mony demands predominance of the warm hues. He 
falls short of Constable as a painter of nature's color- 
ing and as a translator of this into abstract color sym- 
phonies does not rank with Corot. The latter, by the 
way, was much in advance of his contemporaries, ex- 
cept Delacroix, in recognizing that the fundamental 
principle of chromatic harmony is not a matter of hue 
but of light and dark tones. By Goya, who so remark- 
ably anticipated the trend of modern painting, this prin- 
ciple had been enunciated in the paradox: "There is 
no color in nature, only light and dark/ 5 Delacroix 
may have learned the principle from Goya during the 
latter's visit to Paris about 1820, or while he himself 
was visiting Madrid in 1882. At any rate he would 
find corroboration of it in the Spanish artist's paintings 
and etchings. But, while Delacroix applied the princi- 

142 3 


pie mainly on the warm side of the palette. It was from 
the cool scale that Corot achieved his most character- 
istic harmonies; moreover, with less reliance upon hues 
and a fuller acceptance of the principle of light and 
dark than even Delacroix. 

Rousseau's characteristic color harmonies have been 
aptly compared to masses of molten metals/out of which 
flash the splendor of liquid gems. But it must not be 
forgotten that one of his masterpieces is The Hoar Frost 
in the Walters Collection in Baltimore, which was 
painted in 1845. The date serves to remind us that 
American collectors were among the first and the most 
generous clients, not only of Rousseau but of the whole 
Barbizon group. And, since the appreciation of them 
which the American artists, William Morris Hunt and 
John La Farge, did so much to establish has continued 
to the present time, it is In this country that the greatest 
number of fine examples of their work exists. 

Narcisse Virgile Diaz de la Pena (1802-1876) and 
Jules Dupre (1812-1889) are the two members of the 
group who reveal most conspicuously the Romantic 
spirit, while Charles Francois Daubigny is the nearest 
to Constable. Dupre is very uneven, his late work es- 
pecially being labored and heavy in its handling. It 
represents the deterioration of a motive that always 
inclined toward the melodramatic and by repetition be- 
came mechanical. It is deeply, often violently, emo- 
tional and depends for its effects upon striking con- 
trasts. Yet in his choicest moments Dupre could ren- 
der with fine sincerity the solemn calm of sunset or the 


conflict of swollen storm-clouds. Probably, however, 
lie was at Ms best when interpreting the effects that fol- 
low thunder-showers, when the cloud-forms are broken 
with intervals of clear sky and the level expanse of 
pasture, juicy and richly hued, is barred with moving 
lights and shadows. In these moods there is no hint of 
an emotional parade of feeling; a wide and genial 
wholesomeness prevails. 

Diaz was more purely the painter. Even his land- 
scapes reveal less the sentiment of nature than the 
poetry of the palette; and as a colorist he is closest of 
the group to Delacroix. He understood the principle 
of division of color, applying the pigments pure and 
juxtaposing their tones in a delicate tissue of nuances, 
and used with excellent effect the contrasts of comple- 
mentary hues. Thus he rendered the effects of shadow 
without heaviness or opacity. He loved to break up 
his lights, choosing for his subject the recesses of the 
forest where the light percolates through the interstices 
of the boughs and foliage in countless gleams, reflec- 
tions and refractions, or open spots of woodland land- 
scape in moments following a shower, when the light 
breaks fitfully from shifting clouds, and trunks, leaves 
and grass scintillate with glistening raindrops. Again, 
in his nudes, draped figures and groups of women in 
gay, Oriental costumes he breaks up the light into innu- 
merable facets, touched in with a peculiar flickering 
brush-stroke, which curiously resembles that unusual ex- 
ample of Vermeer of Delft, Diana and Tier Nymphs,, in 
the Hague Gallery. In his handling of the flesh-tints 
Diaz, like Corot, exhibits the influence of Correggio; 


imparting to the surfaces a quivering softness and a 
certain morbidezza. But he has not Corot's gift of giv- 
ing his figures spherical form and placing them in space; 
in which respect he is again inferior to MontleelH, with 
whom his phantasies of brilliant orchestration suggest 
comparison. Diaz designed arabesques where Monti- 
celli constructed a concave space and peopled It with 
blossoming forms. Yet despite these limitations which 
comparison with greater men reveal, Diaz remains a 
fascinating master of seductive harmonies. 

Daubigny was the junior of Diaz by only fifteen 
years, while not more than five separated him from 
Rousseau and Dupre. Yet his work, compared with 
theirs, has a distinct character of gaodemity. It may 
result partly from the absence of any suggestion of the 
Romantic spirit In the placid,, simple landscapes ; but is 
also due, particularly in later examples, to the increas- 
ing breadth of Daubigny's brashwork. Meier-Graefe 
has drawn attention to the sketches of Constable, as 
being probably the example for this freer and broader 
handling, while the influence of Manet and his follow- 
ers may well have contributed its share. In an early 
picture, The Timber Wagon^ recently sold in New 
York, Daubigny appears as the draftsman rather than 
the painter. A timber wagon is approaching up a slight 
incline, bordered with banks to which cling the finger- 
like roots of beech trees that are just beginning to don 
their yellow and reddish livery, while at the back mead- 
ows spotted with trees stretch back to a chateau. The 
drawing, particularly of the trees, exhibits a conscien- 
tious fidelity to the natural facts that is extreme. The 


treatment is wholly lacking in pictorial synthesis; and 
exhibits a dryness and hardness, quite unlike the rich 
and juicy handling of his matured style. For it is 
Daubigny's special contribution to modern landscape 
painting that he adapted the loose and fluent method 
of Constable's sketches to a finished picture. It led 
him to experimenting with very large canvases, several 
of which were standing in his studio at his death. One 
of them, representing a shepherd folding his flock by 
moonlight on a misty night, is inclined to be flat and 
dull, with lack of air or luminosity; while another, show- 
ing a stretch of brown soil broken up into plots of 
various cultivation, realizes magnificently the salient 
features of the receding planes. It is a fine example 
of organic construction; of the under-building of the 
composition, for possibly it represents an unfinished 
canvas ; though, even so, if placed like a mural decora- 
tion far enough from the eye, it would probably ap- 
pear completely self -sufficient. For admirers of 
Daubigny who would study his ability as a landscape 
builder and the means employed, a visit should be made 
to the Mesdag Museum at the Hague. For here are 
examples showing various stages in Daubigny's method 
of plotting, constructing and completing the composi- 


Constable's example having drawn attention to the 
Dutch masters of the seventeenth century, it was but 
a question of time when French artists would go to 
Holland itself for inspiration. Constant Troyon 
(1810-1865) was among the first to be drawn thither. 


Already lie had displayed a decided bias for animal 
painting; It was therefore natural that when he visited 
Holland he should realize their pictorial relation to land- 
scape. He would be impressed also by the flat polders 
stretching to the limit of sight, the low horizons and 
high vaulting skies. The effect of these mingled im- 
pressions was an invigoration and broadening of his 
landscapes. They became instinct with a sense of 
spaciousness. The scene may or may not be one which 
involves actual distance of vision; but It Is none the 
less enlarged In its expression, becoming associated with 
the feeling of spaciousness. The same Is true of the 
sky, however much or little may be shown. It is felt 
as a part of what Is vast, buoyant with alert air, stirred 
with breeze or mellowed with large warmth. And to 
this wholesome vigor responds the earth, teeming with 
fecundity, whereof the bulky cattle are the animate ex- 
pression. According with these qualities is the im- 
personal character of Troyon's landscape. No mood of 
the artist's self interrupts their ample benignity, the 
expression of the Earth sentiment. It is because of 
this elemental significance that Troyon transcends the 
almost purely naturalistic landscapes with cattle of 
his pupil, EmUe Van Marcke (1829-1890) and the 
latter's daughter and pupil, Madame Marie Dieterle. 
But what a magnificent synthesis of the character of 
animate and inanimate nature these two present, so 
superior In technical accomplishment as well as in ex- 
pression and beauty of color to the more photographic 
naturalism of Madame Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899). 
Once in a while Charles Jacque (1813-1894) sur- 

147 3 


prises us by the grand idyllic feeling of an upland pas- 
ture, sculptured upon which are the statuesque forms of 
a shepherdess and her flock. More often, however, it 
is the intimacy of some stable, silvered uncertainly by 
the light admitted through a narrow window or the 
varied detail of a farmyard, busy with its four-footed 
and feathered occupants that engages Mm; scenes alive 
with the quiet poetry of the country life. Over a tech- 
nique that betrays the feeling of a sculptor or engraver 
rather than a painter, he triumphs by sheer force of 
knowledge and love of animal life. But, on the whole, 
his most artistic work is comprised in etchings, where his 
burin moves with fluency and the medium demands 
economy of means and consequently a more suggestive 




THE Master-Builder of the Barbizon group was 
Jean Francois Millet. What Rousseau did 
for pure landscape he extended to include the 
human subject and advanced Corot's reconciliation of 
the Natural and Classic into immediate relation with 
modern life. Like them, he informed the material with 
the spiritual; but his imagination was more embracing 
than Rousseau's, more profound than Corot's; withal, 
more human than either and more in tune with his time. 
He was the first artist to catch the voice of the new era 
and to set aringlng, not only in studios, but also in the 
consciousness of the modem world the new message of 
humanity and labor. 

It is unnecessary to dwell upon the incidents of his 
early life; boyhood and young manhood spent upon 
the hill-farm of Gruchy; the daily routine of labor, il- 
lumined by the influence of a mother from whom he 
learned his Bible and by the instruction of an uncle who 
taught him Latin and to love Virgil; his short and dis- 
mal studentship under the classicalist, Delaroche; his 
early marriage and effort to live by painting little 
nudes; then his retreat to Barbizon and gradual discov- 
ery of himself in his first characteristic picture, The 



Winnower. Hitherto, in his efforts to be an artist, he 
had struggled against his own nature, trying to put 
himself in the skin of others; now, at Barbizon, he had 
resumed the experience of his early life. Henceforth 
he would paint only what he understood and sympa- 
thized with. Already this rude peasant of the picture, 
as he stoops his head over his toil, draws back his 
shoulders to balance the forward thrust of the arms and 
bends his knees to relieve the weight of the sieve, pro- 
claims his author's mastery in a new expression of age- 
old principles of art. For its kinship is Greek. 

In later years Millet said of Theocritus, whose poetry 
shared his affection with that of Virgil, Shakespeare 
and Burns: "Theocritus makes it evident to me that 
one is never more Greek than when one simply renders 
one's own impressions, let them come whence they may." 
The words are a curious echo of the already quoted 
extract from Shaftesbury's writings, published in 1 711: 
"We should emulate the Greeks, not imitate them. 
We are most like the Greeks when we are most 
ourselves." Already in The Winnower Millet exhib- 
ited by instinct the truth of what he later formulated in 

The picture is the product of instinct: the source 
from which we are beginning to realize that all great 
achievements spring. Millet's instinct, as in the case 
of the Greeks, led him to study nature: that aspect of 
nature which he knew, under which his own early life had 
been naturally developed; and he learned from nature, 
as the Greeks did, her own rhythm. The movement 
of The Winnower is the result of a perfect coordina- 

[150 3 

^:&l-f'^ h >$&$$fe$A 




tion of the several parts of the body to the action, 
demanded by the toll If It Is to be efficiently performed. 
There is the requisite conservation as well as expenditure 
of energy; the absolute adjustment of contrasted and 
repeated muscular action and reaction; without, It is 
true, the splendid dash of The Soccer, but in Its slower 
and more constrained effort, no less perfect. The eyes 
of Millet's contemporaries, trained by classlcallsm to 
look only at contours and to estimate the drawing- of a 
figure by the sculptural quality of the outside lines, saw 
In this one only a barbarous contradiction of what it held 
sacred. For The Winnower Is not an expression of 
lines, but of mass In movement. And this is the primary 
virtue of Greek sculpture; the beauty of contours being 
superadded. But the academic art of Millet's day re- 
versed this; producing, for example, the faultless out- 
lines and the nullity of mass of a Bouguereau. 

What is the explanation of Millet's immediate re- 
covery of the principles of Greek art? First, surely, 
that he allowed his instinct to lead him; ignorant, 
probably, at the time of whither it was leading; but, 
secondly, and more directly definitive, that the nature 
which he represented he had experienced In his own 
body. He himself had winnowed wheat and exercised 
his Intelligence to discover at once the easiest and the 
most efficient way of doing it. To natural Instinct had 
been added the acquired Instinct. What another artist, 
differently brought up, but with corresponding de- 
termination to arrive at the simple truth would have had 
to search for with long observation and close analysis, 
he rendered as an immediate and first hand impression* 


He could actually put himself inside the winnower's skin 
and participate in his action. 

This raises an interesting question: How far is the 
capacity of an actor needful to a painter? For it is 
clear that few painters start with Millet's advantage of 
rendering impressions with which their personal experi- 
ence has rendered them familiar. Usually it is only 
by imagining the sensation, that a painter can reproduce 
it in action. . But how many have this gift, which is 
essentially the actor's? Very few, it is to be judged, if 
one studies the majority of figure subjects. For in 
them the figures are merely attitudinizing; there is no 
real action, still less the continuity of action that makes 
for movement and even less frequently the coordina- 
tion of movement which evolves the final excellence of 
rhythm. The average painter is dependent on his 
model and abuses the latter for the deficiency which is 
inherent in himself. For no artist, whatever his me- 
dium may be, can reproduce what he himself cannot feel. 

Millet in his Paris days walked the Louvre. It was 
there that he fed his imagination, following again the 
instinct which lead him to what was fundamental in the 
great art of the past. Meanwhile he was unquestion- 
ably influenced by the modern master Daumier, whose 
drawings were exposed in every kiosk on the boulevards. 

Daumier was the first of his contemporaries to revive 
the method of structure-building that characterized the 
drawing of Rembrandt, Hals and Velasquez, and in do- 
ing so was the originator of the principle enforced later 
by Manet and the Impressionists. He constructed in 
masses, securing by a logical coordination of dark and 



light an illusion of modeling even in flat planes. In 
Ms black and white work he added the expressional 
force of eloquent and decisive line; but it is always the 
mass that determines the quality of the Hne as well as 
its direction. The line instead of enclosing empty 
space is the definitive margin of the mass. And the 
latter is designed to interpret action, movement and 
rhythm. It is not the external shape but the inherent 
life of the form that Daumier was bent on interpreting. 
His method shears off superficialities and lays bare the 
structural expression. The result is vitally and char- 
acteristically expressional. 

To recognize Millet's indebtedness to Daumier is not 
to rob the Barbizon artist of credit for original crea- 
tiveness. One might as well think it belittles him to 
acknowledge that he gained from the study of Greek 
art. For while Millet profited by the example of the 
latter and of Daumier, he was independent of both in 
his personal interpretation of the principles. Note, for 
instance, how he applied the principle of distributed 
movement. It is an observation of Rodin's that no part 
of the form can express the movement of the whole. 
This must be distributed in fractional quantities 
throughout all the parts. Already The Winnower 
proclaims this principle, which again and again sup- 
plies the clue to Millet's mastery of construction, until 
it reaches its most triumphant expression in The Sower 
and in his drawings and etchings. 

Sometimes, however, the totality of the movement is 
distributed between two or more figures; in the cele- 
brated example of The Gleaners, between three. One 



of the women is walking with body bent forward from 
the hips and face intent on the ground, searching for 
an ear; another, holding a handful of wheat behind her 
back, is doubled forward over the ground reaching 
down, while the third, stooping still lower and resting 
her handful of wheat on one knee is in the act of grasp- 
ing. The stretch of her arm is more upright than that 
of the other stooping woman; and the whole action of 
her body is more crouching upon its lower part, more 
conserving of its force, even in the act of accomplish- 
ment. The greatest expenditure of force is in the 
movement just previous to accomplishment, represented 
in the action of the other stooping woman, while the 
third figure, alleviating the weight of her bent back by 
holding her hands above her knees, interprets the an- 
ticipatory action. By studying merely a photograph 
of the picture one can see how the total action of glean- 
ing is distributed among the figures, so that a wave of 
coordinated movement passes freely and naturally 
through the group. Shut from view any one of the 
figures and at once the fluidity is checked ; the chord of 
character-expression snapped. 

The landscape of The Gleaners involves a distant 
view of ricks and harvesting, touched in minutely with 
so exact a characterization that it recalls the mastery 
with which Rembrandt realized in his etchings the char- 
acter of level vistas of landscape. For in admiration 
of Millet's figure- work it is easy to overlook his merit 
as a landscapist. This also appears to best advantage 
in his drawings and etchings. For in them he proves 
not only his constructive genius in mass-building and 










realizing* character, but also Ms expressional ability to 
render the spiritual impression of the scene. For here 
he is not hampered by the comparative poverty of his 
color-scheme or by his deficiency as a brashman, which 
too often resulted in his painted surfaces being confused 
in handling and like greasy wool in texture. The 
drawings, on the contrary, exhibit his knowledge and 
feeling unimpaired. 

The character of the knowledge and the quality of 
the feeling are alike determined by Millet's tempera- 
ment of profound earnestness, He himself said that 
the cry of the soil (le cri de la terre) was ever in his 
soul. When once he had resolved to harken to it he 
set his whole life and his work to its pitch. The mean- 
ing of the cry has been sometimes misunderstood. It 
was not, as Millet heard It, the stifled moan of laboring 
peasants sweating out their meager lives in the fields 
of Barbizon, It was the cry of the soil itself, of the 
earth-mother calling to humanity. The peasant was 
but the symbol of the universal. Millet was not a sen- 
timentalist. More than anything he dreaded the im- 
putation of emotionalism; and it is full of irony that his 
remark about The Angelus, that he wished people to 
seem to hear the church bell, should have led to so much 
sentimental vaporing over this picture. Here, as al- 
ways, he was simply trying to visualize the character of 
the scene; and, since its momentary aspect was affected 
by the sound, he wished to make the spectator conscious 
of the latter as explanatory of the character and expres- 
sion. Perhaps without the addition of the name the 
subject would not have explained itself, which cannot 



be said of any other work of Millet's; a fact that re- 
duces the merit of The Angelus. That the artist 
abetted this insufficiency by talking of a bell was a mis- 
fortune, since it wrapped the already mellifluous word 
Angelus in a haze of idealized sentiment, which has 
spread between Millet and the public, blinding the lat- 
ter to his real greatness. 

Millet's imagination was of the philosophic cast 
which precipitates the local and the temporary and ex- 
tracts from them the essence of the elemental and uni- 
versal. Inured to toil from his youth, he was not in 
revolt against labor. It was man's necessary share in 
that universal scheme of labor which held the stars in 
their courses and made earth yield her fruits in due 
season. Everything was coordinated on a universal 
plan. The peasants working in the fields of Barbizon 
were at once a part and a symbol of the whole order. 
Beauty, as Millet understood it, was not to be looked 
for in their faces and figures, but in their cooperation 
with the divine scheme. His ideal of beauty was the 
harmony of fitness and coordination and Millet found 
it expressed in the lives of the peasants as they con- 
tributed their daily stint to the world's routine. Con- 
servative by instinct, he pondered the grandeur of this 
routine, stretching back in endless perspective through 
the vista of the ages; profoundly serious, he invested 
its significance with a kind of fatalism. The idea of a 
future of happier routine through labor and life being 
more efficiently and harmoniously coordinated escaped 
him. It was not as a prophet of progress that Millet 
enriched the world, but as the constructor of f ounda- 

156 3 


tlons on which progress must be achieved. His example 
tended to enforce the new ideas of the dignity of man- 
hood and labor and the need of building the ideal on 
the practical, everyday things of life. The influence 
of his philosophic acceptance of life has been none the 
less potent that it was with him an instinct and not a 
thesis to be preached. He preached only by example; 
and the lesson, because of its indirectness, has gone wider 
and more deeply home. 

* B 

Millet's influence upon art, however, has possibly been 
less embracing and profound. It was only the surface 
of his influence that average painters could skim off. 
They imitated his choice of peasant subjects and es- 
tablished from Ms example a cult of the ugly; but the 
grand style of his technique was as far beyond them as 
the scope of his philosophic seriousness. But Natural- 
ism was in the air* The scientist was applying himself 
with a new zeal to the study of natural phenomena; 
substituting for much that had been empiric a closer 
analysis of facts; the mechanician under the impetus of 
the discovery of steam-power was coordinating labor and 
nature on a new basis, and a Balzac had captivated the 
world by his presentments of everyday life and charac- 
ter. The painters could not do otherwise than follow 
suit. Naturalism, was the vogue and where else but 
among peasants was to be found the nearest approach 
to nature ? It was so that they interpreted and followed 
the example of Millet. 

Many, however, followed the example of Jules Breton 
(1827-1906) and carried out into the fields their 


academic predilections or their citified sentiment con- 
cerning milkmaids and haymakers, peopling their can- 
vas-countrysides with the personages of the Opera-Corn- 
ique. On the other hand, many followed Jules Bastien- 
Lepage (1848-1884) in his presentment of the crude 
and homely, qualified by a little sentiment. The latter 
helped him with the public, while his frank naturalness 
commended him to painters. He so completely fitted 
the conditions of his time that he enjoyed a reputation 
which, except in the case of his portraits, has scarcely 
been maintained. To-day we find his peasant pictures 
not only lacking in style, but also deficient in organic 
composition, little more than cross-cuts of life; and the 
crudeness of their naturalism has lost its original fasci- 
nation. For since his time there has been a rebound to 

It was the wont to regard Naturalism and Realism as 
practically identical terms. But the gradual recogni- 
tion of two points of view in the study of nature has 
made it convenient to distinguish between them as con- 
noting diff erent motives. A man may study, as Bastien- 
Lepage did, the natural phenomena solely with reference 
to the facts themselves; or, like Millet, view them in re- 
lation to some larger horizon of ideas. To differentiate 
their motives we will call the former a naturalist; the 
latter, a realist. This use of realism or realist is simply 
a return to the old phraseology of the Realist philos- 
ophers who, in opposition to the Nominalists, maintained 
that the totality of a conception was more important 
than its component parts; that humanity, for example, 
is the reality; the individuals composing it being, as it 










were, merely incidental to the main idea. So to-day 
we may style Mm a realist who correlates the facts of life 
to the large principles of elemental and universal signif- 
icance. It was the example of Ibsen that chiefly helped 
to promote this terminological distinction; and he, as a 
realist, is open to the same criticism as Millet. Both 
viewed life from its darker side; although in doing so 
they established principles upon which a happier con- 
dition of existence may be built in the future. 

Judged by this distinction, most of the French 
painters of peasants and ouvriers are naturalists, whose 
work will not survive alongside that of Millet and the 
few others who have represented their subjects in rela- 
tion to larger issues. It is difficult, for example, to ex- 
pect that the coming generation will be interested in the 
local gloom of Jean Francois Raffaellfs (I850-) pic- 
tures of the Paris owcner, whereas the Breton subjects 
of Charles Cottet (1863-) , notwithstanding their gloom 
and intensely local feeling, involve a relation to eternal 
issues of humanity, which should secure the interest of 
posterity. Posthumous fame may also be anticipated 
for the peasant pictures of Lucien Simon (I861-) who 
not only views his subject in relation to a wide horizon 
but also reinforces this stimulating appeal by a vigorous 
and characterful technique. He is with little doubt the 
strongest brushman of the peasant painters of France, 
and both in portraiture and domestic genre has also done 
work of notable force and charm. 



BY the middle of the nineteenth century, in 
France as well as in England, the achievements 
of science and mechanics and the newly devel- 
oped sense of individualism had dominated the spirit of 
the age. Dogma was discredited; the old belief under- 
minded; the world was looking for * "truth" in the per- 
ceptible facts of knowledge; religion was being des- 
iccated by rationalism or discarded in favor of material- 
ism. In the specific field of painting the representative 
of this changed attitude toward life was Gustave 
Courbet (1819-1878). 

At the World's Exposition of 1855, Courbet was dis- 
satisfied with the official treatment of his pictures, Ac- 
cordingly he removed them and exhibited separately out- 
side the grounds in a wooden hut, which bore the con- 
spicuous legend, "Realism G. Courbet." This was 
four years after the appearance in the Salon of The 
Stonebredkers and Funeral at Ornans. He had come 
up to Paris in 1839. Refusing to submit his inde- 
pendence to the control of any teacher, he made the 
rounds of the galleries and from the example of the old 
masters gradually acquired a style of his own. Mean- 
while, his criticism of present and past artists was out- 





spoken and scathing. He admired Ribera, Zurbaran 
and Velasquez, was drawn toward Ostade and venerated 
Holbein; but could not tolerate Raphael, whom he held 
chiefly responsible for "the fever of imitation" which, 
he asserted, was prostrating the art of France. To- 
ward the end of the forties when Ingres was at the 
height of his power and Couture's Decadence of the 
Romans had created a sensation and Jean Louis Hamon 
(1821-1874) and others of the so-called "Neo-Greek" 
group were producing their pretty little china-painted 
pictures of classicalistic idyls, Courbet's tirades against 
authority and classicaHsm had made him a marked man. 
Students gathered round him and echoed his free- 
thought. For as yet Millet, working quietly in Barbi- 
zon, was unheeded, and the time demanded somebody 
who would trumpet the claims of the modem naturalistic 
spirit. The man was found in Courbet. 

Courbet announced himself a realist; and possibly he 
was one in the sense which has been defined above, al- 
though his theories of art may at first sight suggest 
that he was an out-and-out naturalist. For he is on 
record as declaring that "the principle of realism is the 
negation of the ideal." But in this repudiation of the 
ideal as something which the painter should shun, he 
must be understood to refer to the kind of ideal that 
was held up as a nostrum by the academicians of his 
day, as it still is in ours. Courbet had no use for nymphs 
in cheese-cloth draperies, posing in allegory; nor for 
religious pictures representing after the Italian manner 
men and women supported on clouds, angels and views 
of Heaven, nor for the posing and paraphernalia of 


resuscitated historical scenes. For, as lie said, "realism 
can only exist by the representation of things which the 
artist can see and handle. Painting is an entirely phy- 
sical language, and an ahstract, invisible, non-existent 
object does not come within its province. The grand 
painting which we have stands in contradiction to our 
social conditions; and ecclesiastical painting, in con- 
tradiction to the spirit of the century. It is nonsensical 
for painters of more or less talent to dish up themes in 
which they have no belief, themes which could only 
have flowered in some spot and epoch other than our 
own. Better paint railway stations with views of the 
places through which we travel, with likenesses of great 
men through whose birthplaces we pass, with engine- 
houses, mines and manufactories. For these are the 
saints and miracles of the nineteenth century." In fact, 
it was with pseudo-idealism, the threadbare left-over 
of the past, that he quarreled. Meanwhile, his allusion 
to the "saints and miracles" seems to show that he could 
view the facts of things in relation to what he con- 
ceived to be the highest good of humanity. For he 
lived to "arrive at the emancipation of the individual 
and, finally, at democracy." That was his ideal to 
which he sought to correlate his life and work. 
Whether or not he would have admitted it, he was an 
idealist in what is coining to be the modern understand- 
ing of the word; one whose ideal is the betterment of 
the race and who looks for its fulfilment in the actual 
facts of life. As he said, "My object is to be not merely 
a painter, but a man. In a word to practise living art 
is the compass of my design." These are live words 


and almost sufficient of themselves to prove that Courbet 
was a realist ideaBst. 

But let the evidence of Ms paintings speak. TJie 
Stonebredker an old man resting on one knee as 
he raises a hammer over a heap of stones and a young 
man adjusting his sinewy frame to the weight of a 
basket, filled with broken stones represents the studied 
observation and truthful rendering of facts. For this 
reason the critics found it "an excessively commonplace 
subject/' But already in the figure of the younger 
man may be discerned something of the joy in physical 
force and wholesomeness which is characteristic of this 
artist's work, himself a man of size above the average 
and possessed of great bodily strength as well as mental 
vigor. It is, however, mental force rather than the 
physical which characterizes the other picture of the 
same year the Funeral at Ornans. For Courbet 
stripped the subject of all sentiment and ceremony; 
bared it to the bone; and in doing so has lifted its sig- 
nificance above the local and the personal. For death, 
viewed in the large, is but a temporary disarrangement 
of the routine of life ; a momentary cessation from activ- 
ity on the part of the living, while they pay their last 
respects to the dead, and then an immediate resumption 
of life's routine. Meanwhile, behind this particular 
group of folk, gathered in front of the grave at Or- 
nans, extends a high horizon line of hill, interrupted 
only by a slight depression. Its monotony is eloquent 
of that indifference of the outside world. One death 
more or less, what matters? We must all die; the world 
is for the quick, not the dead. 

163 3 


But the critics were even more scandalized by subjects 
such as Grisettes Lying on the Bank of the Seine. 
Where was the trite coquetry with which other paint- 
ers had invested these young persons, as they tripped 
the streets with piquant demureness and lifted their 
skirts to reveal the neat shoes and a hint of stockings? 
Courbet has "intentionally placed these girls in the most 
unrefined attitudes that they might appear as trivial 
as possible/' One can fancy Courbet retorting that 
many of these girls are trivial and that when they get 
away from the city they lay aside their little artifices 
and sprawl in simple animal contentment. They may 
not be refined, but they are natural and wholesome. 
So too are Courbet's nudes. 

The example, Le Reveil, has been selected for re- 
production here (p. 161) because, while one of the fig- 
ures illustrates these qualities the other is curiously 
and unusually classicalistic in pose and feeling. It re- 
minds one of the fact that it was through study of the 
old masters that Courbet graduated into his naturalistic 
style. And here something of the process still lingers 
in the result. Meanwhile, the recumbent figure in pose 
and treatment recalls the superb nude which has been 
lent to the Metropolitan Museum. It is a panegyric 
on the glory of sound, abundant physicality; the basis 
on which rests the highest steeple-building of the race. 
What says Browning, himself a man as well as a poet, 
speaking through the mouth of Fra Lippo Lippi 

"The beauty and the wonder and the power, 
The shapes of things, their colors, lights and shades 
Changes, surprises and God made it all!" 





In Ms ability to realize this through the human form 
Courbet takes rank as one of the greatest painters of 
the nude during the nineteenth century* 

Probably, however, it is in his marines and landscapes 
that Courbet reaches his highest expression. They are 
entirely free from the suspicion, occasionally suggested 
in the figure subjects, that embeter le bourgeois was 
lurking in the artist's mind. The finest' of them are 
equally free from local suggestion; they are abstracts 
of the elemental in nature; of force, vastness and the 
solemnity of silence. His seas are not invaded by ships ; 
no dwellings interrupt the solitude of the shore; shore 
and sea wage conflict or lie placidly the one by the 
other in sole presence of the sky. Again, what a sug- 
gestion of immemorial age, hidden vastness and un- 
broken solitude pervades his forest glades! The deer 
rest under the shadow of the fern or bask in the patches 
of sunlight; the stags at rutting time meet and fight; 
over the carpet of snow the doe seeks the watering-place. 
Sometimes the hunter wakes the silence with his horn 
and his hounds violate the solitude; but for the most part 
Courbet's forests are the undisturbed haunts of the 
forest creatures, as if man were not. 




MANET was needed to complete Courbet. 
The latter had brought the motive of paint- 
ing into touch with the spirit of the age, lead- 
ing the painter to look for his subjects in the world of 
actual sight and to treat them solely in accordance with 
the facts of nature; but he had not furnished the ex- 
ample of a technique fitted to represent the vision nat- 
urally. His own, derived from the old masters, still 
relied on chiaroscuro for modeling and on tonality to 
draw the parts into a unity of ensemble. But in nature 
the colors, so far from presenting a tonal scheme, are apt 
to be characterized by contrasts and yet the effect is 
harmonious because the antipathies of color are dis- 
solved in the lighted air which envelopes them. It was 
not until the painter was able to emulate the unifying 
effect of light and introduce the illusion of circum- 
ambient air into the spaces of his composition that he 
could represent the natural phenomenon naturally. 
This was Manet's contribution to the development of 
modern painting. 

Edouard Manet was born in Paris in 1832, in the 
Rue Bonaparte, opposite the Ecole des Beaux Arts. 
After spending nearly six years in Couture's studio he 
made a progress through the galleries of Germany, 



Vienna, Florence, Venice and Rome, Thus he emulated 
the independence of Courbet and, like the latter, be- 
gan by painting pictures which reflected the influence 
of various old masters, particularly the Flemish and 
Caravaggio. Then he discovered Velasquez. Just as 
some forty years earlier the example of Constable had 
fertilized the development of French Romanticism and 
the School of Paysage Intime, so now in 1857 a collec- 
tion of Velasquez' work in the Manchester International 
Exhibition was the immediate cause which ultimately 
resulted in French Impressionism. Sir William Ster- 
ling-Maxwell's "Life of Velasquez' 5 was translated into 
French by G. Brunet, and provided with a catalogue 
rdsonne by W. Burger; the Spanish artist began to 
occupy the pens of Charles Blanc, Theophile Gautier 
and Paul Lef orf, and the name of Velasquez resounded 
through the studios. 

To this new influence Manet was the first to respond. 
In the early sixties appeared a number of pictures from 
his brush which proved how thoroughly he had absorbed 
the principles presented by the examples of Velasquez 
in the Louvre. Three of these early works by Manet 
are now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York : The 
Guitarist, The Boy with the Sword and The Angels 
at the Tomb of Christ. The most signal example of 
the period is Olympia of the Louvre; a nude, whose 
white figure is displayed upon the white sheet that covers 
the couch, while a negress dressed in red stands in the 
rear, holding a bouquet of flowers, surrounded by white 
paper. It now hangs near the Odalisque Bathing by 
Ingres, thus emphasizing the completeness of the re- 


volt from classicaMsm involved In Manet's picture. The 
latter had been preceded two years earlier by The Picnic, 
in which Manet translated Into modern terms a subject 
often used by the Venetians; namely, two young men 
In the dress of the day, seated on the bank of a river 
beside a nude woman, while another woman, clothed 
only In a chemise, is splashing In the water. It is not 
difficult to realize the howl of indignation and derision 
with which the academic camp and the public, follow- 
ing In its suit, greeted these two pictures. Not with- 
standing the support of Zola, Charles Ephrassi, Dur- 
anty and other critics, Manet had to face a storm similar 
to that which had assaulted Courbet's Funeral at 
Ornans and the early works of Delacroix. 

What, up to this point, In his following of Velasquez, 
had Manet accomplished? In the first place he had 
freed himself from traditionary subservience to "interest 
of subject," and had asserted the painter's right to be 
interested, if he chose, solely in the pictorial rendering, 
He had also cut loose from the splendors of Rubens, 
the color-wealth of the Romanticists and the frigid 
beauty of line of the classicalists- His subjects, viewed 
in a cool, evenly diffused light, presented the sober 
range of hues in which blacks and whites and silvery 
grays are interspersed discreetly with blues and choice 
tones of red. The composition is not disposed upon 
any geometric plan or made to yield lines of grandeur 
or grace, but is determined solely by the motive of dec- 
orating the canvas. The forms are painted with a big 
brush in flat broad planes which admit no chiaroscuro 
and yet suggest plasticity. This results from the ac- 


curate discrimination of the values of planes and hues, 
the exact rendering of the quantity of light contained 
in and reflected from each. Thus an illusion has been 
created of the actual action of light and accordingly of 
atmospheric perspective and of air surrounding the full 
spaces and filling the empty ones of the composition* 

For, in the second place, Manet through the example 
of Velasquez had discovered a way of looking at Ms 
suhject which was entirely new in modern painting and 
precisely suited to the needs of its development. In the 
words of Meier-Graef e, he "naturalized the instincts" of 
the painter. He taught him to look at nature through 
his own eyes instead of through the medium of pictures; 
to paint what he sees rather than what he knows the 
subject involves: and to paint only so much as his eye 
embraces in a single vision; in fact, to render the totality 
of his subject as his eye actually receives It. 

This represents the first stage in Manet's develop- 
ment, the period in which he was directly under the in- 
fluence of Velasquez. The new departure came, when 
having assimilated the Spaniard's example, he launched 
forth independently. The Rubicon was passed shortly 
before 1870, when he was staying at the country home 
of his friend, the painter, De Nittis. The latter's wife 
happened to be seated in an easy-chair on the lawn, her 
baby in a cradle beside her, her husband lying on the 
grass. Manet, seated in the sunshine, painted the group 
in its environment of sunny greens and brilliant flowers. 
With-The Garden, "plein-air" made its debut in modern 
painting. Henceforth the principles of Velasquez 
were extended to out-of-door problems and to the end- 

169 3 


less variety of effects produced by varying quantities 
and qualities of luminosity. 

After the Franco-Prussian War, during which Manet 
served in the artists* corps and also as a lieutenant in the 
Garde Nationale with Meissonier as his Colonel, an exhi- 
bition was held at Nadar's Gallery, comprising his work 
and that of the men who were already ranging them- 
selves by his side. f Some of the pictures were catalogued 
as "Impressions" of this or that. Jules Claretie, in sum- 
ming up the exhibition, spoke of it as a "Salon des Im- 
pressionistes." The term proved apposite and caught 
on. The modern consciousness, becoming aware of 
impressionism, labeled it and fixed it duly in the cabinet 
of the arts. Some proceeded to define it; Zola, for 
example, describing an impressionistic picture as "a 
corner of life seen through a temperament." For it 
becomes recognized that if the painter is to render what 
he sees instead of what he knows, it is but a step to 
painting it as he feels it, and thence but another step 
to relying so thoroughly on his feeling, that to accom- 
modate the latter he will not hesitate to color and warp 
the facts; therefore, that impressionism as a mode is 
temperamental, with all that this implies of weakness 
as well as strength. 

It is customary to limit the term, impressionists, to 
a group of painters including besides Manet, who has 
been called the Father of Modern Impressionism, 
Whistler, Degas, Renoir, Monet, Pissarro, Gillaumin, 
Sisley, Jongkind and a few others. There is no*harm 
in thus preserving the identity of the new departure, 
unless it is allowed to obscure the fact that impression- 


ism as a principle penetrates modern life. It has long 
since ceased to apply to a particular method of paint- 
ing. It represents not only the painter's way of ob- 
serving 1 and rendering the subject, but has become in 
a large measure the world's way. 

It has penetrated other arts. Fiction and even his- 
tory are being written on the principle of viewing the 
subject (as Zola again said of impressionism) in its 
miUeu or environment and of relying upon suggestion, 
with its innumerable shades of allusion, corresponding 
to what the painters call "values/ 5 to create the milieu. 
Compare, for example, Kipling's method of creating a 
vivid impression in cooperation with the reader's im- 
agination and that of George Eliot who relies upon 
the detailed statement. With what consummate use 
of suggestion-values Maeterlinck in "Les Aveugles" 
succeeds in setting the affliction of the blind in its milieu 
of solitary helplessness, so that we feel their desolation. 
To his "Pelleas and Melisande/' Debussy composes 
music, which as far as possible dispenses with con- 
trapuntal forms and by its reliance on tonal sugges- 
tions invests the soul-drama with spiritual atmosphere* 
Or contrast the more detailed art of a Bernhardt with 
the highly suggestive method of a Duse; or Miss Ruth 
St. Denis's dances with those of Miss Isadora Duncan. 
While the former depends largely upon elaborate stage 
effects and fascinates her audience by the structural 
beauty of her form and the detailed figures of the dance, 
the other eliminates .as far as possible from our con- 
sciousness the perception of concrete form and figures, 
creating around herself an aura of suggestion, so that it 


Is the feeling or spirit of the dance rather than the fact 
of it which is rendered. 

But the principles which underlie impressionism have 
also spread into the affairs of Hfe. In their efforts 
to solve the problems of disease, poverty and crime, 
of education and other sociological questions the scien- 
tists are analyzing more keenly than ever the subject in 
relation to its environment. And on what is Mr. Tay- 
lor's system of "Scientific Management" based, if not on 
the study of the subject in its milieu? In treating cer- 
tain cases physicians recognize to-day the value of sug- 
gestion as, it is most interesting to note, did Hip- 
pocrates, "the Father of Medicine," in the third century 
before the Christian era. Suggestion also is one of the 
most effective arrows in the quiver of the modern edu- 
cator; while one of the most marvelous examples of the 
study of a subject in its environment and of treating 
it through suggestion is afforded by the Salvation 

Thus, without further multiplying instances, it is 
clear that the principles upon which impressionism is 
founded permeate modern life. The painter-impres- 
sionist is but one of the reflections of the spirit of his 
age. His distinguishing characteristic as a painter is 
not to be discovered so much in his motive as in his 
technique. The latter has been influenced in two direc- 
tions: by the example of the Japanese and by hints 
derived from science. Of the former influence Degas, 
(1834 ) is the most typical, while Claude Monet 
(1840 ) , Camille Pissarro (1831-1903) and Auguste 


Renoir (1841) are most representative of the scien- 
tific influence. 

***** * 

No sooner was impressionism weaned from the 
direct influence of Velasquez than its lusty growth be- 
gan to assimilate a characteristic of the age* As stage- 
coaches were superseded by trains and the speed of 
the latter Increased, the pace of life all round became 
accelerated. With ability to move quickly came a craze 
for change. Life must be crowded with sensations and 
to get them Into the ordinary allotted span, they must 
be brief 5 the moment charged with piquancy. Reflecting 
this, the painter became Intent on catching the fugitive 
impression,, the fleeting movement of a woman's gesture; 
the light upon a landscape at such and such an hour; 
the momentary aspect of a crowded street or cafe. For 
this the old principles of composition, based on geome- 
try, were unfitted* Their effect was at once too formal 
and too stable. The clue to a more spontaneous dis- 
position of the forms and spaces was discovered in the 
Japanese prints which by the seventies were coming 
into Paris. These Ukiyoye compositions had the charm 
of unpremeditation, surprise and fluent actuality, as they 
fixed on paper the evanescent aspects of the "Passing 
Show/' The principle they involved was in the lan- 
guage of Japan notan; a spotting of dark and light, 
not systematically arranged but balanced with an art- 
ful though apparently artless irregularity. Spotting 
instead of building-up became the characteristic of im- 
pressionistic composition. Moreover, the Japanese 
composition presented a highly decorative arrangement, 



which from the first it had been the aim of impres- 
sionistic painters to achieve. Further, these prints 
echoed Velasquez's use of black, white, gray, blue and 
rose, meanwhile extending the gamut of hues and 
nuancing the tones with infinite subtleness. 

While Degas developed these principles more 
thoroughly than any other of the Impressionists, he is 
none the less an original genius. His early work was 
inspired by the example of Ingres for whose art he 
has always had a high regard. Then he devoted him- 
self to the naturalistic motive, finding his subjects in 
race-scenes and the femininity of Paris. No artist has 
so effectively synthetized the restless action of a bunch 
of racers as they canter to the starting post or wait 
the signal; the intricacy of angles which their shifting 
bodies present, the scintillating movement of the many 
legs and the tense gestures of the jockeys. With cor- 
responding verve he analyzed the characteristic of the 
Parisian working-women and ladies of society and piti- 
lessly revealed the jaded life of the demi-mondaines. 
Finally he explored the coulisses and stage of the Opera 
and Circus and the schools in which the girls of the 
ballet are trained. It is with these subjects that he is 
most widely identified. And they represent most 
characteristically this strangely haughty genius who be- 
trays no taste for the world, holding himself severely 
aloof from society, allowing himself no intimates and 
looking out from his solitude upon the passing show 
with coldest scrutiny and cynical disdain. At least 
such an attitude of mind one may gather from the tired, 
ugly faces of his dancing- girls and the cruelly grotesque 



contortions which he gives to their bodies and limbs* 
Yet these are but the facts of his models and of the 
conditions under which they are converted Into Terp- 
sichorean machines. When he depicts a ballerina, he 
r will endow her with the zest of an artist and render her 
a miracle of grace. 

When, however, one turns from the material to the 
manner of Degas, it is to discover in this apparently 
cold and cynical nature an artistic ardor and feeling for 
abstract beauty, such as few painters of the century have 
rivaled. He is as great a draftsman as a colorist, and 
a decorator unsurpassed. The arabesques of his com- 
positions alike In his oil paintings and his inimitable 
drawings, water colors and pastels, are distinguished 
by a spotting as broad as it is subtle, which suggests 
the most unstudied naturalness and at the same time 
the most aristocratic feeling. High-bred, also is his 
Instinct for color, which again has a strain of fascinat- 
ing bizarrerie and always an impeccable assurance. Per- 
haps he is never so wonderful as when he drags a stick 
of pastel across a drawing, leaving an evanescent sug- 
gestion of purple or yellow. Indeed, his use of color 
defies analysis; It is regulated by the genius of instinct. 
Degas has the natural gift of the colorist as Madame 

Melba has that of song. 


Degas excepted, the original Impressionists are dis- 
tinguished by their knowingly scientific use of color, in 
which they followed Delacroix who had taken his lead 
from Constable. It is based on the principle of division, 
that is to say, the placing of tints and tones side by 



side in separate touches. Delacroix affirmed this princi- 
ple and its advantages frequently in his writings. He 
said, for example, "it is good that the touches should 
not be actually blended. They blend naturally at a 
given distance, by the law of sympathy which has as- 
sociated them. Color thus obtains more energy and 
freshness/' He acknowledges his indebtedness to the 
English painter. "Constable said that the superiority 
of the green in his meadows was due to the fact that 
it was composed of a multitude of different greens. 
The cause of the lack of Intensity and life in the verdure 
of the average landscapist is that he makes it ordinarily 
of a uniform tint. What Constable says here of the 
green of the meadows can be applied to all tones." 
Accordingly Delacroix adopted the practice of cover- 
ing his local hues with cross hatches of varying tones 
of the same hue or of its complementary, thus securing 
intensity and life. 

However, it was not at once that the first Impres- 
sionists, Manet, Monet and Pissarro, derived this lesson 
from Delacroix. Originally they drew their inspira- 
tion from Courbet and then sat at the feet of Velasquez, 
emulating his blacks and whites and grays. Mean- 
while, Delacroix had declared that "the enemy of all 
painting is the gray." But in 1871 Manet and Pis- 
sarro paid a visit to England and made the acquaint- 
ance of Turner. They returned home to pursue the 
motive of light: of light which is color and color which 
is light, luminosity, brilliance. It was then that they 
began to turn to Delacroix and to his division of color. 
They were fortified in their new departure by a discovery 




which their friend, Seurat, had made in a work on color 
by Professor Rood of Columbia University. The latter 
recorded an experiment made with a comparison of re- 
volving disks, on one of which two colors were painted 
in separate sections, while the other was covered with 
the product of the same two colors, previously mixed 
on the palette. The revolution of the former disk pro- 
duced a mingling of the colors far more intense and 
lively than the hue of the other one. It seemed to 
establish the superiority, for purposes of brilliance and 
intensity, of the optical blending to the actual blend- 
ing on the palette. Seurat took the hint and com- 
municated the results to Monet and Pissarro. Hence- 
forth their work becomes distinguished by division of 
touch. They lay the pure colors side by side and de- 
pend upon the eye to effect the mingling. 

So far they had resumed the experience of Delacroix. 
Then they passed beyond him, if not in splendor and 
majesty of coloring, at least in clarity and brilliance and 
in naturalness. For they contributed their share to the 
"naturalization of the instinct." They taught them- 
selves and in time the public, to see nature more natu- 
rally. Manet had discovered that planes in out-of-door 
nature appear flat and that discords of color are har- 
monized by the envelope of light. But there were other 
natural facts to be learned, particularly those relating 
to shadow. Analysis proved that in nature there is 
no arbitrary recipe for shadow. Neither the blacks of 
Caravaggio and the school of the Darklings, nor the 
reds of Rubens, nor the grays of Van Dyck, nor the 
browns of Hobbema and Ruisdael; but that shadows 


always retain something of the local hue; and are af- 
fected by the near-by hues. Thus, the shadow under 
a girl's chin, as she sits in the sunshine on a lawn, may 
be impregnated with green. It was discovered that 
the shadows on snow are not black, which is the negative 
of color, but some tone of the coolest color, blue, or its 
warmer affinities, purple or lavender. 

As a result appeared those canvases by Monet which 
at first outraged the purblind public, which had not as 
yet accustomed itself to see nature as it is, but relied 
for its color impressions on the conventions and formulas 
of indoor painting. To-day we know better, thanks 
to the Impressionists, and can appreciate at their full 
value Monet's exquisite landscapes made at Vetheuil on 
the Seine, on the coast of Belle-Isle, along the Thames 
in London and those miracles of luminosity represented 
in the series of early morning visions of Rouen Cathe- 
dral. Few artists have been gifted with an eye so 
analytic as Monet's, which led him in pure joy of ex- 
periment to multiply the varying aspects of a single 
haystack, according to the quality of light that played 
upon it at different times of day, or to find in a single 
lily pool a source of endless variety of color and light 
and decorative arabesques. 

Moreover, there was a time when it was customary to 
consider this analytical eye of Monet's as objective as 
a mirror. We have discovered our mistake and realize 
now the subjective character of his vision: that it was 
not satisfied with the external aspects of the scene ; that, 
in fact, it penetrated to its very core and brought to the 
surface its spiritual inwardness. For example, there is 



BO painter who has revealed more Intimately as it af- 
fects the spirit, the very essence of impression peculiar 
to the Seine near Paris, than Monet. Alfred Sisley, 
on occasions, rivals him but cannot maintain the pace 
of the physically powerful Monet, whose gait is so 
measured and yet leads so invariably to a refined inter- 
pretation of the spiritual suggestion of the scene. 




THERE is a certain element of brutality in 
Monet, as in some other impressionists, to which 
however Auguste Renoir (1841 ) presents the 
extreme o'f contrast. His art is of exquisite refinement, 
at qnce virile and voluptuous ; replete with gaiety, grace 
and tenderness; supple as well as strong; magisterial, 
yet caressing; an art that in its latest phase bathes all it 
touches in a miracle of luminous color and yet asserts 
the beauty of form. Renoir is of all modern French 
artists the most typical of the permanent spirit of the 
race. He has resumed the thread that was snapped by 
the Revolution; carrying forward the art of Fragonard 
and thus uniting with the stream of inspiration which 
the eighteenth century derived from Rubens. 

But equally he represents the new influence of the 
nineteenth century. His earlier work reflects the ex- 
ample of Courbet, Manet and Velasquez. It is his 
black, white and gray period which culminated in the 
magnificent pictorial treatment of La Loge (p. 180). 
In this there is no mistaking the influences that have 
operated; yet the malnner as well as the feeling are 
original, purely French, and unequivocally Renoir. 
Fine as it is, however, it proved to be only the comple- 
tion of a step in the artist's development, which was 





now to embrace the color-technique of impressionism 
and the influence of Ingres. It was such examples of 
Ingres as the Odalisque and Le Bain Turc, the latter 
representing a number of nudes reclining in various 
attitudes of luxurious contentment around a marble 
bathing pool, that helped Renoir to consummate his 
art. They awoke in him the Frenchman's characteristic 
love of form and style; qualities in which the general 
run of modern impressionistic pictures are singularly 

Renoir's decorative treatment under the new inspira- 
tion became more completely organic. Whereas in La 
Loge the arabesque is, as it were woven, now, particu- 
larly in his nudes, he models it. He has lost nothing of 
the exquisite manipulation of material, producing such 
beautiful mystery of surfaces; but he now extends the 
beauty of the surface back into the planes of his picture; 
making the forms mysteriously issue from the mystery 
of colored luminosity that fills the concaves of his 
spaces. Ingres has taught him, as he did Degas, to 
discover the grand line and the grandeur of mass; but, 
while Degas makes both count for character as well as 
beauty, Renoir's addition to the beauty is the palpitating 
splendor and warm life of movement. No other 
Frenchman has interpreted so unerringly a certain 
French type of child and young woman, velvety, plump 
and luscious as a peach in sunshine. Gesture, expres- 
sion, texture, are characteristic* There is character in 
Fragonard, but it is rather that of convention; with 
Renoir it is character of nature. 

If one compares Fragonard's Women Bathing of 


the Louvre with similar subjects by Renoir it is to real- 
ize how far naturalism, filtered through the latter's 
temperament, has improved upon the Rococo. Renoir 
has discovered rhythms in the forms and gestures of his 
bathers that axe nature's, caught and blended by art, 
in comparison with which Fragonard's women seem to 
be consciously posturing. The advance is yet more 
noticeable when the figures are viewed in relation to the 
water, sky and foliage. It is not only that again the 
natural beauty of the ingredients exceeds that of the 
studio convention; but that Renoir, by his subtler use of 
color and ability to evoke the luminosity of nature, 
welds all the parts of his decoration into a harmony of 
relation which envelops the surface and also impregnates 
all the receding planes. Renoir's decoration is more 
plastic, while at the same time the substance out of 
which it is constructed is infinitely more subtle and 

In his search for the plastic Renoir will sometimes 
treat part of his figures, especially the hands, in a way 
that offends, alike, the naturalist and the academician. 
It is here that he asserts the claim of the Impressionist 
to subordinate, slur or even misrepresent a part if by so 
doing he can better achieve his impression of the whole. 
Meanwhile, though he has explored the possibilities of 
impressionism farther than any other artist of his age, 
his art has been at the same time more thoroughly repre- 
sentative of the great traditions of painting. This has 
been his final distinction, and on it will probably be based 
his reputation with posterity. 






TO Impressionism has already succeeded Meo- 
Impressionism. One of its adherents, Paul 
Signac, has summarized the objects of the latter 
in Ms "D'Eugene Delacroix au Xeo-Impressionnisme" : 
"By means of the suppression of all impure mixing, by 
the exclusive use of the optical mingling of the pure 
colors, by a methodical division and the observation of 
the scientific theory of colors, it guarantees a maximum 
of luminosity, coloration and harmony, which have not 
yet been attained." In a word, the new movement re- 
lies more fully upon science. It has already been men- 
tioned that Georges Seurat, after reading one of 
Professor Rood's experiments, was induced to apply the 
principle of division of color to his brashwork* At an 
exhibition of the Impressionist group held in 1886 this 
new influence became apparent. Georges Seurat was 
represented by Un Dimanche a la Grande- Jatte, while 
works closely akin to it in technique were shown by 
Camille Pissarro, his son Lucien Pissarro, and Paul 
Signac. Among other Frenchmen who later became 
identified with Nee-Impressionism, advancing the ap- 
plication of its principles by their independent re- 
searches and experiments, were Henri Edmond Cross, 


Albert Dubois-Pillet, Maximilian Luce, Charles Aug- 
rand and Hippolyte Petit jean. 

The Neo-Impressionists, to quote Paul Signac, are 
like the Impressionists in having on their palettes only 
pure colors. But "they repudiate absolutely all mixing 
on the palette, except, of course, the mixing of colors 
that are contiguous upon the chromatic circle. The lat- 
ter, graded to one another and cleared with white, will 
tend to reproduce the variety of the hues of the solar 
spectrum and all their tones. For example, an orange 
mingling with a yellow and a red, a violet graded toward 
red and toward blue, a green passing from blue to yel- 
low, are with the white the sole elements which they em- 
ploy. But by the optical mixing of these several pure 
colors, and by varying their proportions, they obtain an 
infinite quantity of hues, from the most intense to the 
most gray." . . . "Each touch, taken pure from the 
palette, remains pure upon the canvas/' Thus the Neo~ 
Impressionists "can claim, to surpass in luminosity and 
color the Impressionists who sully and gray the pure 
colors of the simplified palette." 

They might have been more appropriately called 
"color luminists"; but adopted the other name to 
acknowledge their indebtedness to Impressionists who 
lead the way in the search for light and color. But, as 
M. Signac adds, while the Impressionists rely upon in- 
stinct and aim at fugitive or instantaneous effects, the 
Nee-Impressionists aim at permanence of effect and 
reach their results by reflection, based on scientific prin- 
ciples. "The Impressionist/' as M. Theodore Duret 
has said, "sits on the bank of a stream and paints what 


passes before Mm." But the Xeo-Impressionist, to 
quote M. Signac, "following in this aspect the counsels 
of Delacroix, will not commence a canvas until he has 
fixed upon the arrangement. Guided by tradition and 
science, he will harmonize the composition to his con- 
ception. That is to say, he will adapt the lines, their 
directions and angles, the dark and light of the tones 
and the hues to the character that he wishes shall prevail. 
The dominant lines will be horizontal to express calm ; 
ascending for joy; and descending for sadness, while 
the intermediary lines will figure all the other sensa- 
tions in their infinite variety. A polychrome play, not 
less expressive and diverse, is wedded to his play of line. 
To ascending lines will correspond warm hues and light 
tones; with descending lines cool hues and deep tones 
will predominate, while an equilibrium, more or less per- 
fect of warm and cool hues and of pale and intense tones 
will add to the calm of the horizontal. Thus submitting 
the color and line to the emotion that he has experienced, 
the painter will do the work of the poet, the creator." 

In fact, however much instinct may affect the char- 
acter of his sensations, the ]\ T eo-Impressionist will not 
permit it to affect his expression. The latter must be 
precisely organized; color as well as line being handled 
according to reasoned principles so as to secure a per- 
fect harmony of ensemble. And the latter will cor- 
respond with a moral harmony in the artist's mind ; the 
product of disciplined reasoning and organization. 
The artist as well as his work the one in consequence of 
the other rests upon the assurance of scientific basis. 

In conclusion Signac reminds us that "division of 


touch" is an esthetic principle, the touch itself being 
merely the means to an end. This warning is directed 
against the common error of supposing that it is the 
touch which constitutes the principle of Neo-Impres- 
sionism. But, except that the new school varies the 
size and character of the touch to the size and character 
of the composition, it is in no wise distinguished by the 
use of the touch. Delacroix's touch took the form of 
cross-hatches, some Impressionists adopted a comma- 
stroke; some have used the point and are the only ones 
to whom the term pointilliste Is proper; others have 
adopted the square touch of a mosaic; Segantini wove 
his touches together side by side like stitches in wool- 
work. The touch, in fact, is no novelty of technique, 
and has no significance of principle. 

Signac's book has been criticized because of its fre- 
quent reference to Delacroix, as if, says one critic very 
foolishly, the author imagined that the great Roman- 
ticist existed chiefly to supply an argument for Neo- 
Impressionism. This, of course, is mere trifling with 
the matter. Signac's obvious and excellent intention 
was to show the logical development of the new princi- 
ples both from Impressionism and from Delacroix; and 
surely it is no detraction from the greatness of both that 
beside being potent in themselves they have proved to 
be sources of potency for further development. 

The new principle has also been objected to as re- 
ducing the personality of its exponents. But this im- 
plies a very cursory or unfeeling study of the works of 
the several men. Nobody with any sympathy of ap- 
preciation could confuse the amplitude of feeling in 



Seurat's scene of young men bathing, for example, with 
the exquisite delicacy of Signac's river landscapes; or 
overlook the differences displayed by Luce's street 
scenes of work-a-day life and by those of peasant life 
in the fields by Charles Augrand; or the color rhythm 
of Cross with the decorative canvases of nude nymphs 
by Petit jean. 

Nor is the fact that by adopting the principles of 
Neo-Impressionism a mediocre painter can realize his 
mediocrity, an adverse argument. For such a charge 
could be brought against every system of technique; 
and it might as well be urged that systems of scientific 
instruction are fatal to the appearance of scientific 
genius. So far Neo-Impressionism has produced no 
artist of preponderating ability; but this is no argu- 
ment against it. Owing to the reluctance of the public 
to commit itself until time and authority have served to 
endorse a new movement with respectability, the present 
exponents of Neo-Impressionism have perhaps scarcely 
had an opportunity to prove their full capacity. Signac 
is disposed to believe that the latter will only be ren- 
dered possible when they are given a chance to decorate 
large mural spaces, particularly in ill-lighted buildings. 
His surmise appears reasonable and, in view of what 
so often passes for decoration, the world could not be 
further wronged by putting the experiment to a test. 



SO far in following" the progress of modern French 
painting we have passed unnoticed many a quiet 
backwater where the artist has liberated his 
spirit in seclusion from the swift main stream. The 
present chapter, therefore, shall be in the nature of a 
retrospect, gathering up some of the personalities that 
the logic of events compelled us for the time to over- 

The dominant features of the nineteenth century, 
scientific research and material progress, tended for a 
time toward rationalism, and materialism, to a belief in 
nothing that could not be submitted to the evidence of 
the senses. This attitude toward life was reflected, as 
we have seen, in the painter's attitude toward art. 
Romanticism, at least in its origin, had been an expres- 
sion of soul. Naturalism and Impressionism, however, 
were to a great extent the products of that "chair and 
table" view of life which confines its interest to what 
can be seen and handled. A vast quantity of modern 
painting in France, as indeed elsewhere, presents a 
spectacle of the most barren materialism. NOT is this 
quality characteristic only of much naturalistic and im- 
pressionistic work; it is equally so, though in a different 
and perhaps less tolerable way, of a great deal of the 





academic output. In fact, if a visitor, arriving from 
another planet, were to base Ms estimate of modern 
civilization on the exhibits of picture galleries, he might 
easily be led to the conclusion that the modern man was 
without imagination and devoid of any conscious need of 
higher thinking and feeling. He would, of course, be 
mistaken, even misjudging the evidence of pictures. 
For the modern has exhibited his imagination in dis- 
covering beauty in things of common experience and 
has through his study of light and color subtilized, it is 
even proper to say spiritualized, his feeling for beauty. 
Still, in the main, he has limited his appreciation of 
beauty to the visible and tangible. 

It is in contrast with this main tendency that the im- 
agination of certain painters, conscious that reality is 
not solely an affair of eyesight, has penetrated beyond 
the palpable into the confines of the spiritual; into that 
penumbra where fact and faith join mysterious hands. 

Some have introduced obscurity into their pictures, 
creating a physical penumbra in which the forms are 
partly merged; while all suggest a feeling, aloof from 
the stir of things in a sort of penumbra of the spirit. 
Jean Charles Cazin (1841-1900) in a measure repre- 
sents both these phases, as well in his figure subjects 
as in his better-known landscapes. It is not obscurity 
in the sense of darkness that wraps his night scenes, 
twilights and moonlights. But the facts of things are 
slumbering, merged in the impression of the scene, as 
it affects the spirit. These village streets, and sandy 
dunes, quiet by day, become in the phantom half-light 
ghosts. And ghosts are impressive, as some one has 


said, because they are silent. It is the silence of these 
vacant spaces that so poignantly arrests one's spirit. A 
corresponding impressiveness characterizes his earlier 
subjects in which figures play important part; his 
Biblical scenes, for example, such as Hagar and Ishmael 
in the Wilderness; and also his modem figure studies, 
In one case the spirit of the scene, in the other the spirit 
of the individual,, is detached from outside contact, alone 
with its own silence. 

In a strain of elegant lyricism which unfortunately 
sometimes lapses into prettiness, Edouard Aman-Jean 
(1860 ) renders the graceful forms of women, haunt- 
ing the stillness of quiet gardens. He began with 
themes of legendary and historic lore, Jeanne d' Arc and 
St. Genevieve, and something of the mystic still lingers 
in his presentment of the modern Parisienne. 

The works of Rene Menard, born about 1*858, are im- 
pregnated with a consciousness of the subtlety of beauty. 
The portrait of his uncle, the philosopher, Louis 
Menard, in the Luxembourg, is that of a man whose 
eyes look beyond the evidence of the material and 
temporal with a gaze of strangely tender penetration. 
Meanwhile, Menard's landscapes, with or 'without 
figures, present an alluring combination of objective 
nature with the subjective expression of a spirit that 
in its essence is Hellenic. Yet it is a modern spirit. 
The exquisite nudes, whose presence personifies the 
spirit of the mountains, lakes and trees are no mere 
Oreads and Dryads revivified. They are the living, 
palpitating abstractions of nature's loveliness as to-day 
we may know and feel it. 

190 3 


The mystery latent in things very familiar has been 
explored by Henri Sidaner (1862 ). He has become 
most characteristically identified with subjects in which 
still-life plays a chief part. The corner of a city 
garden, for example, shows a table spread with a white 
cloth and garnished with glass and silver, flowers and 
fruit. These reflect in a thousand nuances the warn) 
glow of a rose-shaded lamp; the whole forming a jewel 
of tender radiance set in the pale uncertain luminosity 
of the moonlit garden. Sometimes it is the drear home- 
liness of a village street that the moonlight invests with 
tender poetry, or the outworn grandeur of a Venetian 
palace which in the soft clair-obscure palpitates with the 
melody of bygone memories. 

Two artists of choice vision are Adolphe Monticelli 
(1824-1886) and Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904i). 
Both loved music; Monticelli, the ravishing irresponsi- 
bility of gipsy music, while Fantin-Latour was among 
the first Frenchmen to appreciate Wagner and an en- 
thusiastic devotee of Berlioz, Rossini and Brahms. 
During the days of the Third Empire Monticelli 
ruffled it bravely in Parisian life; but after the disasters 
of 1870 retired to Marseilles and lived a life of seclusion 
that to outsiders seemed pathetic. But Ee lived within 
himself a life which, while its mental basis may have 
been insecure and fantastical, was one of inspiration to 
his art. Just as he filled his consciousness with rich 
luxurious fantasies, so he peopled the spaces of his pic- 
tures. For Monticelli's impressionism differed radi- 
cally in technique from the Manet type. He was not 
an embroiderer of surfaces, but a great space-con- 


structor, the builder of concaves whose limits merge in 
the infinite. And this without any use of grays or usual 
effects of penumbra. His colors burn like molten 
jewels, his light, whether moonlight or otherwise, does 
not pass into an aura of obscurity. The light passes 
into light, suggesting interminable vistas of mysterious 
pleasure. And these vistas, avenues and corridors of 
living light are thronged with votaries of joyousness, as 
real and yet as detached from ordinary reality as 
Watteau's gallants and their ladies. Substitute, how- 
ever, for Watteau's exquisite logic, typically French, 
the passionate rhythms and harmonies so purely those of 
instinct, which characterize Hungarian gipsy music, and 
you begin to account for the exceptional phenomenon 
of Monticelli. 

Fantin-Latour owed much to the example of Ingres. 
Acting upon his own choiceness of temperament it 
tempered to fineness the naturalistic motive which he 
shared with others of his day. His Portrait of Manet 
(p. 193) exhibits the intimacy of his feeling and simple 
directness of treatment; but it scarcely reveals that 
deeper penetration of the subject's personality and the 
capacity to place him aloof in an intimate atmosphere 
of his own which characterizes Fantin-Latour's best 
portraits. Of these there is none finer than the Portrait 
of Edwin Edwards and his Wife in the National Gal- 
lery. The man sits absorbed in the study of a print, 
the lady, standing beside him with folded arms, has 
lifted her /gaze from the work of art and fixes it on a 
far vision. Around the two figures is an aura of highly 
refined abstraction. This picture is the work of an 


7 ' H f 1 A' '/)?, >1 /' 'J l f 4 ? 





artist whose temperament led him not only to a line 
conception of Ms subject but also involved a quiet direct- 
ness that enabled him to realize the conception simply 
yet fully. The same happy union of conception and 
achievement characterizes those figure-subjects which 
were inspired by his love of music. Some were exe- 
cuted in pastel, more by lithography; the latter medium 
helping him technically, since the grain of the stone 
served to break up the surfaces, which, when he handled 
paint, were rather inclined to tightness. But in these 
groups of nude and draped figures, the lights scintillate 
and the shadows are lustrous ; the surfaces tremble and 
glow in the variety of rhythmic and melodious movement. 
These exquisite interpretations of the very spirit of 
dance and music are touched with the dignity of Ingres 
and the naive grace of Prud'hon, while they vibrate to 
the naturalness of Fantin-Latour's own mingled joyous- 
ness and seriousness of temperament. 

It was under the shadow of Rembrandt that Eugene 
Carriere (1849-1906) matured. As a young man he 
had come under the spell of Rubens and Velasquez and 
his earlier pictures are distinguished by a delicate 
manipulation of blues, rose and pale yellow, harmo- 
nized with neutral browns and grays. Gradually his 
color scheme became more austere, until he developed 
his matured style, which floats the light and shade in 
an embrowned penumbra, while out of it emerge 
those parts of the forms which are essential to interpret 
the expression. The subjects become variations on the 
theme of Maternity, with occasional portraits and re- 
ligious pictures, such as the Crudfiwion of the Luxem- 



bourg. One and all are impregnated with profoundly 
reverential tenderness, a reflection of the artist's own 
moral beauty of character, which so deeply endeared 
him to his intimate friends* Notwithstanding the 
spiritualized atmosphere, there is no lack of plasticity in 
such parts of the figures as are revealed. There is no 
evasion of form but a control of it, so as to subordinate 
the mere facts to expression. It is his feeling regarding 
the subject that Carriere was bent upon interpreting. 





most impressive figure of the last quarter of 
the century. In an age of flux and agitated 
sensations he pursued with steady persistence the goal 
to which his instinct and Ms reason alike impelled him* 
and eventually dominated by sheer quietude of force* 
He resumed the great decorative traditions of the 
eighteenth century; but, passing over Rubens and the 
masters of the High Renaissance, drew inspiration 
from the primitive Florentine artists, from Giotto in 
particular. Yet impressionism, in the broad sense of 
the term, also affected him. His decorations are im- 
pressions and expressions, relying upon the eloquence 
of suggestion. 

The student should begin Ms study of Puvis, if pos- 
sible, by a visit to the Museum of Amiens. Here, 
alongside of later panels, may be seen the early ex- 
amples, War and Peace. In these, already, Puvis re- 
veals himself an artist of ideas, of imagination, not build- 
ing up a composition wMch is empty of meaning or one 
wMch relies for its interests upon incident* It is the soul 
of War and Peace that he interprets: the horror of the 
one in its brutalizing of the conqueror and its wreaking 
of misery on the innocent and helpless ; the blessedness 

195 3 


of the other in promoting the possibility of fullest 
harmony between humanity and nature. Each canvas 
presents incidents, but they are dominated by the em- 
bracing idea. It is the idea that, as far as the subject 
is concerned, absorbs one's imagination. 

But as yet the technical method contradicts the ab- 
straction of the subject. The treatment is pictorial and 
the eye gradually roams to and lingers on fragments of 
superlative interest. Puvis was still working in the 
manner of many others who have covered the walls of 
the Pantheon and other public buildings with illustra- 

But Puvis' instinct divined the fact that, since archi- 
tecture is the most abstract of the fine arts, the others 
when they cooperate with it should partake of its 
abstraction. It has become a shibboleth of the deco- 
rators that the space must be treated in subordination 
to the surrounding architecture. But this, after all, is 
little more than a maxim of architectonic good manners, 
which, by the way, was violated freely by the Italians 
when it suited them. Nor will the sole regard for ar- 
chitectonic propriety succeed in effecting the harmony 
between painting and building that is attained by Puvis, 
His art rested on a profound principle: that of the 
genius of abstract expression. In an age, so dominated 
by the concrete as his own and ours, it offered a means 
of emphasizing the claims of the spirit. 

In order to achieve this abstraction Puvis submitted 
himself to a severe discipline of elimination, which should 
reduce the concrete, as far as possible, to its essential 
elements and sacrifice the representative quality of form 








in f aror of its more significant qualities of expression. 
He was influenced thereto by the example of Giotto, 
whose simplification, whether it resulted from a large 
dramatic sense or from inability to carry the drawing 
farther, is so admirably decorative and full of character. 
Puvis, in emulating this, had to divest himself of the 
habit of treating the figures as prescribed by the schools. 
It is sometimes said that he had to unlearn what he 
knew ; but the truer way of putting it is to say that he 
had to learn the higher principles of drawing, such as 
Daumier, Millet and Degas proclaimed, which simplifies 
the masses by omission of unessentials. They adopted 
this principle in pursuit of character of expression in 
the figures. Puvis carried it still further in order to 
reduce the individual characterization of the figures in 
favor of a complete balance of harmoniously abstract 
relation between the figures and their surroundings. 
For with Puvis the landscape is not incidental or sub- 
ordinated to the figures ; it is rather the orchestration to 
which the figures are contributing not separate melodies 
but a united chorale. Hence the figures have become, 
static; scarcely more animated than the trees, yet by the 
suggestion of their human forms yielding a poignancy 
of expression. There is a French saying to the effect 
that solitude is beautiful when there is some one present 
to whom we can say, "How beautiful is solitude." 
This is somewhat the role played by the figures in 
Puvis' as in Corot's landscapes. They intensify the 
sense of universal harmony in this vision of the solitude 
of the spirit. 

Regarded from the point of view of both learned 


plane-construction and of expression, Puvis comes near 
to being the greatest landscape artist of the century. 
The element in his work which determines its high 
quality is his extraordinary sense of the value of open 
spaces. We do not find it in his early work. His 
Peace is beautiful, but with a confined beauty that 
draws us in upon the figures ; which are not only fully 
modeled but grouped in masses that show one form, 
against another. Compare with this any of his later 
work, and we find the grouping loosened out so that 
the figures are more distributed and take their place 
independently in the increased depth and number of 
the planes. But, even so, the final technical secret of 
the abstraction which pervades the whole, drawing all 
together into a vast spiritual harmony, is the extent of 
the open spaces. You can assure yourself of this by a 
visit to the Pantheon where his Cycle of Ste. Genevieve 
can be compared with the pictorial and illustrative 
mural embellishments of diverse famous artists who are 
deficient in the decorative sense but still more in the 
quality of abstraction. Study, for example, that ex- 
panse of violet night-sky which makes up half the com- 
position of Ste. Genevieve looking over Paris. Its very 
emptiness leaves uninterrupted roaming-space for your 
imaginings as for those of the sainted maiden. It links 
her quiet spirit, as it may one's own, with the mystery 
of infinite calm. 

It is to be noticed that as a rule it is only in his skies 
that Puvis allows himself the use of pure color. One 
might imagine that he first chose the beautiful hue of 


the blue and then attuned all the other colors to it* 
They have yielded up their positiveness. The verdure 
and foliage are a pale green, the ground has faded to 
brownish gray, against which the flesh tints show a 
slightly lower tone of the same hue* For it was a 
habit of Puvis to set his figures against a background 
of slightly higher key. While his colors are thus de- 
colorized, they are subtilized by the number of tones 
which each hue presents. The process corresponds to 
the dematerializing of the facts and contributes to the 
abstraction and spiritualised harmony of the ensemble. 
It may be that at times Puvis carried the decolorization 
as well as the dematerialization of his figures too far; 
that the colors become a trifle beggared, the forms a 
little incoherent in their lack of "drawing/ 5 One pos- 
sibly is conscious of this in some of Ms panels in the 
Boston Public Library, which represent the work of 
his declining years, and in certain of the smaller detached 
panel easel-pictures. If so, it is but necessary to turn 
to his Genevieve cycle, or to Winter in the Hotel de 
Ville, Paris, or to the hemicycle of the Sorbonne, or 
Inter Artes et Naturam, and not alone to these, to realize 
the genius of this modem master. 

Wherein lies its magic? Possibly in its direct out- 
growth from the spirit of the time, which in turn it 
lifted higher, turning its own weakness into strength. 
For his age was marked, not only by a yearning after 
some spiritual escape from the jungle of materialism, 
but also by an overwrought sensibility that rejected the 
obvious and sought for the most subtle sensations. 

199 3 


Out of this virtual decadence of his time Puvis con- 
structed visions of spiritual refreshment. 


So far as there is a successor to Puvis de Chavannes, 
it is Maurice Denis (1885 ) . He has been influenced 
by the older man, but has applied in his own way the 
principles of abstraction, space-composition and color. 
He is himself a lover of the primitive Florentines, and 
was attracted, it is said, particularly by Lorenzo di 
Credi. He differs from Puvis as youth from age. It 
is the glamour of time and wisdom that haunts the work 
of the one; the miracle of the soul's eternal freshness 
that enchants us in the other. And Denis is possessed 
of that blithe instinctive piety which characterizes the 
French race in general. At Le Vesinet, between his 
home at St. Germain and Paris, he has decorated two 
chapels in the church of Les Ortes and the chapel of 
the St. Croix institution for girls. An exquisite sim- 
plicity of sentiment allied to a consummate skill in the 
logical decorative effects characterize these expressions 
of radiant and joyous faith. 

Can I ever forget my first introduction to the work 
of Denis? It was after a long and weary traversing 
of the galleries of the Salon, when one was sated with 
the plethora of profitable and unprofitable canvases, 
jostling one another in their eagerness to attract. 
When lo! a step and in the entrance to a gallery, set 
apart for the work of one man, one had passed into a 
new world. It was one in which springtime never ends; 
in which youth and fragrant hope and purity bloom 
continually. The lawns are fresh with vernal greens, 


starred with the gaiety of flowers. Peach and apple 
trees spread their gauzy veils of pink and white against 
the blue of an eternally cloudless sky. Maidens with 
soft budding forms and draperies that reflect the hues 
of the blossoms, shaded with lilac, stand or recline in 
groups, intercepting the clarity of the light with trans- 
parent violet shadows. They are knit to one another 
and to their surrounding in a naive harmony of un- 
troubled happiness and artless love. 

Such are the aspect and expression that characterize 
the work of Denis, though he will sometimes introduce 
colors of greater warmth and positiveness, as, for in- 
stance, in the chapel of the Sacred Heart in Les Ortes, 
where the sky is rainbow-hued with a predominance of 
rich orange, melting into yellow. In Ms use of color he 
has this much of neo-impressionism, that he uses the hues 
pure and vitalizes them with tenderly discriminated 
tones. While still preserving the abstraction of his 
figures, he treats them with more roundness of model- 
ing and simple naturalness of gesture and expression 
than are revealed in those of Puvis. Moreover, he dif- 
fers from the latter in garnishing more the empty spaces. 
His are not empty in the more literal sense that those 
of Puvis are; the result in expression being that, while 
the latter's have the abstraction of a far vision, Denis' 
are naive and intimate. 



EVEN before the last quarter of the century had 
set In the world was conscious of a mood of 
spirit which it eventually characterized as fin de 
siecle. It was compounded of negation and pessimism 
with resultant mocking and contempt; and of lust of 
sensation, brutal and bizarre, on the one hand, as the 
product of gross and brutal naturalism; on the other, 
in the way of retaliation, overwrought with refinement 
and the appetite for exotic stimulus. 

It commenced in a subtle epicureanism of taste which 
found its literary expression in J. K. Huysmans 9 C A 
Rebours" and Flaubert's "Salammbo." The hero of 
Huysmans' novel is a typical decadent. His taste has 
been so exquisitely exacting that he shuts himself from 
the world in a paradise of his own sensations. He has 
a mystical faith in a future which will arrive when the 
present civilization is annihilated. He has ceased to 
strive because he has found no ideal worth his pains and 
is, moreover, conscious of his own impotence. In 
women he is attracted not by strong and healthy beauty 
and fitness for maternity, but by the fascination of the 
over-ripe and the morbid. His favorites among authors 
are Baudelaire, Verlaine, Mallarme, Villiers and the Gon- 

courts. He accepts from the last named the definition 



of beauty as that which uneducated people regard with 
instinctive distaste. In the matter of painters he limits 
his choice to Odilon Redon and Gustave Moreau, 

Redon (1840-1904) has been called the French 
Blake, but such mysticism as he exhibited is of the sur- 
face quality, not the actual life of the spirit, as it was 
with the English artist. Redon has more affinity in his 
imagination with Edgar Allen Poe, who is the subject 
of one of his lithographs. He was, as Meier-Graefe 
says, compounded of all imaginable ghost stories, or 
rather ghost fragments, for it is in fragments that his 
art is finest. His drawing, for example, of Beatrice, 
the head and shoulders, is most sensitive in its tenderly 
impalpable modeling and correspondingly exquisite in 
expression. It is in drawings and lithographs that his 
genius was best displayed, and an exhibition of them in 
1881, aided by the pronouncements of Huysmans, made 
him famous and for a time the center of a cult of 
mysticism. Twenty years later he reappeared before 
the public with an exhibition of pastels from which, to 
quote again Meier-Graefe, all compositional intention 
was rigidly excluded. There are no lines, no planes; a 
shimmer of specks stream over the canvas like flowers 
of strangely material colors, compounded of gold, silver, 
gems and the black of rare butterflies; in splendor com- 
parable to certain early Japanese cabinets inlaid with 
mother-of-pearl. They represent an "excellent tri- 
fling," which betrayed that Redon had succumbed to 
the incoherence of the times and his own increasing 

[203 3 


Less the artist than Redon but surpassing him in 
vogue was Gustave Moreau (1826-1898). Directly 
inspired by Flaubert and praised extravagantly by 
Huysmans, he passed in his time for a symbolist. 
This was because he drew his subjects from myths 
and legends and the Bible stories, connecting them in 
groups which he called "The Cycle of Man," "The 
Cycle of Woman/ 5 "The Cycle of the Lyre" and "The 
Cycle of Death." But in his habit of crowding his 
compositions with enrichments of still-life detail, de- 
rived from German, Italian, and Persian art, he proved 
himself at heart a naturalist. It is the word-genre of 
"Salammbo," adapted to paint, that characterizes his 
style, which depends upon and appeals to sense and 
involves little or no spiritual suggestion. The large 
watercolor, The Apparition (p. 207 )> now in the 
Louvre, is regarded as his masterpiece and is fairly 
typical of the character and method of his work. The 
technique is lacking both in sweep and esprit, involv- 
ing an elaborate mosaic of minute bits. Originally 
the effect may have been lustrous and jewel-like. 

To-day it is tame and spiritless in color. 


How the temper of the time found expression in 
spiritualized refinement has been illustrated in another 
chapter. Here it is rather its mundane and material 
phases that occupy attention. Typical of these in the 
best sense, has been Paul Albert Besnard (1849 ). 
He is one to whom the unusual is abhorrent. He has 
dipped into the exotic as mirrored in Southern sun- 
shine and Oriental types of femininity. All flesh be- 





comes to Mm constructed masses of plasticity and move- 
ment on which colored luminosity may play in re- 
sponse to the magic of his subtle and ardent imagina- 
tion. He finds his motive equally in the glossy quar- 
ters of a kicking pony, annoyed by flies; in sleeping 
and crouching nudes, as in the woman illumined by 
firelight, Femme qui se Chauffe, of the Luxembourg, 
or in the sporting torsos and limbs of young girls 
plashing beneath a waterfall. He extends his bizar- 
rerie of vision to the portrayal of the nervous elegance 
of women of society or the voluptuous liveliness of a 
Re jane. But, if we except his decorations in the 
Chemical Laboratory of the Sorbonne, where the over- 
straining forms writhe in a welter of putrescent color, 
his vigorous mentality and executive ability in handling 
the brush have saved his painting from at least the 
weakness of decadence. 

One can scarcely say the same of Gaston La Touche 
(1854 ). The blatancy and banality of an age of 
mushroom millionaires and diamond Kaffir kings is 
reflected in the decorative orgies of his canvases, where 
men and women are steeped in an iridescent slough of 
self-indulgence, extravagance and lasciviousness in 
the company of satyrs and monkeys. Yet his shallow 
and vulgar art has been rewarded with a gold medal 
at one of the most important exhibitions in the United 
States! Judged, however, by the traditions of *his 
race, he is a distant connection of Watteau, who has 
debased the latter's art to a more or less tipsy de- 



Above the confusion of tongues, accompanying the 
revolt of individualism against the time-honored re- 
strictions imposed by official art and public morality, 
one cry resounds: the horror of the conventional! 
We have seen how it led Puvis back to the example of 
the Primitives; and that he reduced from it an organ- 
ized science of decoration which suited his own tempera- 
ment and what he felt to be the spiritual need of the 
time. Others have been led farther back than Flor- 
ence of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and 
mostly without discovering for themselves any organ- 
ized system of art. A forerunner of this backward 
movement was Paul Gauguin (1851-1903). A 
Breton on his father's side, with a strain of Peruvian 
on the mother's, he worked for a time in Brittany, 
gathering followers around him in what was called the 
School of Pont-Aven. Eventually the exoticism in 
his blood drew Mm to the island of Tahiti where the re- 
mainder of his life was spent. He found his models 
in the copper-skinned natives. They resemble those of 
Samoa, whose figures and simple grace of life repre- 
sented to John La Farge the nearest approach in the 
modern world to what he conceived of the old world of 

These Tahitians, whose nudity was almost complete, 
Gauguin painted in poses that recall the immobility 
and profound calm of Egyptian sculpture, against a 
background of vivid green tropical verdure, ruddy 
sands and cliffs and the azure of sky and sea, or the 
deep lapis lazuli or purple blue of shaded pools and 
waterfalls. To Gauguin, sick of what he called the 






"disease of civilization," the "barbarism of this new 
world," he declared, "was a restoration to health." It 
was the "realization of his dreams" "a foretaste of 
Nirvana." Strindberg had been shocked by the "Eve 
that dwelt in this Eden." Gauguin replied: "Only 
the Eve I have painted can stand naked before us. 
Yours would always be shameless in this natural state." 
Gauguin's feeling for "barbarism" has been misinter- 
preted by many younger painters whom he influenced. 
Meanwhile, there is another artist whose influence 
has also gone awry. It is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 
(1865-1901). An accident in childhood had robbed 
the lower part of his body of vitality, while his brain 
was one of singular acuteness and his appetite for life 
as keen. Degas and Forain attracted him chiefly, 
but he was a natural artist and quickly discovered his 
own metier and method. In paintings and pastel, but 
most decisively in lithographs, he exhibits an exquisite 
sense of design and nervous, vibrating color and an 
incisive use of line, now strong, now delicate, but in- 
variably expressive in the highest degree. With this 
technique that thrilled with the nervosity of the time, 
he depicted fragments of the Vie Parisienne, as dis- 
played on the turf, in the hospitals, cafe-concerts, bal- 
publics and bagnios. The grossness of many of Ms 
subjects become transfigured by the exquisiteness of 
his art. Accordingly the latter lent a cachet to the sub- 
ject, stimulating its vogue. Other men, who found 
his art inimitable, could emulate his choice of subject. 
Hence Toulouse-Lautrec, like Gauguin, though the 
latter has little of his consummate artistry, has had a 

[207 3 


share in promoting the particular form of decadence 
that characterizes much of the painting of the new 



The significant feature that is common to its other- 
wise variable manifestations consists of an abnormal 
horror of everything that passes current for propriety 
in society as at present constituted. It not only recog- 
nizes, as every thinking person does, that society is suf- 
fering on the one hand from a deep-seated disease of 
hypocrisy and false standards and on the other from 
a brutal callousness to consequences so long as its own 
materialism can be indulged. But it also imitates this 
very brutality and in the frenzy of its pessimism would 
overturn all existing conventions, heedless of the fact 
that conventions must exist for the preservation as well 
of art as of society, nay, of life itself, whether physical, 
mental or spiritual. "Down with everything that is 
up!" This is its insensate cry against that which art 
has sanctified and the conscience of the world holds 
sacred. It raves most madly against beauty, as beauty 
has heretofore been conceived alike by artists and by 
man's yearning after betterment. It sweeps aside all 
culture and extols the most primitive sexual instincts. 
It degrades the human body from its place in art as the 
high symbol of imagined physical and spiritual har- 
mony and represents it as a crude fleshly organism, now 
gross and torpid and now contorted with the spasms of 
animal desires. 

In thus flaunting the red rag of anarchy some of 

these men may be actuated by the malicious enjoyment 





of outraging the philistine bourgeois; but the majority 
seem to be sincere in the belief that out of this chaos 
of violated decencies an era of higher artistic purity 
will ensue. Meanwhile, let us note that it is reflecting 
elements in the modern social system that have no 
parallel in history and can only be partially compared 
to the excesses of the degenerate Roman Empire. 
The world's rapid increase of wealth has changed the 
standards of society. War to-day is seldom conducted 
by generals and their armies but is being waged per- 
petually by financiers and their hordes of parasites. 
It has been a war to death, directed against private 
rights, crushing down all opposition and resulting in a 
power so nearly absolute that the old standards of right 
and wrong and the old safeguards against their viola- 
tion have been swept away. The spirit it has engen- 
dered is one of cynical contempt for humanity and 
decency. It is assumed, and with much reasonableness, 
that all men and women have their price and are eager 
to sell themselves ; the highest rewards are not for noble 
lives but for success; and the kind of intellect extolled 
is that which is characterized by audacity, unscrupu- 
lousness, ferocity and cunning. It is to intellects of 
this caliber that half the world to-day crawls in abject 
admiration. In place of the Goddess of Reason the 
revolutionaries of this later century have set up the 
Moloch of Success, whose creed is lust of power and a 
cynical reliance upon brute force. It is this social and 
economic "Terror" that the Robespierres and the 
Marats of modern painting have emulated. 

What is to be the end? Already the social and eco- 

209 ] 


nomic revolution is showing signs of abatement, and reor- 
ganization is in process of being effected* Will a corre- 
sponding reorganization be evolved from the present 
chaos of painting? This is the question that particu- 
larly centers around the work of Henri Matisse. 


./;, \j ;;, -. ;., 





HEKHI MATISSE (1862) has come to be 
regarded, by outsiders at any rate, as a 
leader of this movement of "Wild Men/' 
partly through the number of his pupils, partly through 
the clear enunciation of what he believes to be the prin- 
ciples involved. These he explains as "simplification, 
organization and expression." That he may have de- 
rived this triune motive from Cezanne, of whom we 
have yet to speak, does not alter the fact that Matisse 
has been their chief spokesman. 

The ideas embedded in this phrase are individually 
not new. If there is any novelty it is in bringing them 
into such concise and effective unity. It is a fact, 
moreover, that they are practically identical with the 
principles which are being relied upon to reorganize the 
social and economic conditions. Substitute for ex- 
pression the economic equivalent, efficiency, and you 
have the secret by which the barons of finance and in- 
dustry have acquired their bloated power, and by which 
alone their power can be checked in the interest of the 
public. For the system embodied in the ideas has come 
to stay; and the problem which confronts the statesmen* 
of the present time is not to overthrow the results of 
trust-combination, but to discover how the benefits of 



efficiency as the result of simplifying and organizing 
production can be extended from the strong-boxes of 
the few to the well-being of the many. 

The ideas, in fact, are so intrinsically a part of the 
great movements of the day that Matisse's advocacy of 
them in relation to painting must needs command at- 
tention. As a priori propositions they are immediately 
acceptable. The test in his own case consists in his ap- 
plication of them. Let us realize at the outset that he 
inherits from impressionism the decorative intention of 
a canvas. When it came to simplification he seems to 
have argued that he must divest himself as far as pos- 
sible of his original academic training; he must get 
back of all acquired learning, whether derived from. 
Italy or Greece; and must try to look at nature through 
the eyes of the primitive artist who had nothing but 
instinct to rely on. So he took counsel of the carved 
wooden images of aboriginal Africans. 

Such organization as these exhibited was an in- 
stinctive recognition of certain rude relationships; for 
example, the connection and difference between the ad- 
vanced planes of the nose and the retiring hollows of 
the eye-sockets; between the chunky surfaces of the 
cheeks and the angular incision that indicated the 

When it caine to the question of expression, Matisse 
performed the feat of auto-suggestion, which discovered 
what he was looking for in the thing in which he had 
made up his mind it was to be found. 

One point, however, he overlooked. The primitive 
man shared Matisse's instincts as a decorator, but was 





entirely unbothered by acquired ideals of harmony and 
rhythm. He transfigured a block of wood into his vision 
of nature and was satisfied. Not so the modern man. 
Accordingly Matisse, in his need to secure an abso- 
lutely harmonious and rhythmic arabesque to his compo- 
sitions, has found it necessary to ignore his vision of 
nature. In a certain picture, for example, one of the 
woman's legs "came out" longer and bigger than the 
other. It was regrettable; Matisse admitted his tem- 
porary failure; but to have reorganized the legs on a 
basis of natural observation would have interfered with 
the harmony and rhythm of the whole. 

Is this a pose, people ask, or simply foolishness? 
Apparently neither; but the result of a quite naive 
instinct that compels him to push on, no matter how 
he stumble. Moreover, he is possibly less shocked by 
the violation of form, because it is not form but the 
expression inherent in the movement of form which he 
desires to render. He and all the new men have this 
at least in common: that they are sick of the photo- 
graphic side of modern painting; the outcome of 
naturalism and impressionism, satisfied to give the 
actual appearance of an object. They affirm, with 
truth, that the camera has invaded this field and is capa- 
ble of thoroughly exploring it; that the painter, if he 
is to recover an exclusive territory for his art, must 
push those means at his disposal in which the camera 
cannot emulate him. He must carry simplification 
beyond the camera's limited capacity to simplify and 
must rely especially upon that which is absolutely out- 
side the camera's ability, namely, organization. Thus 



he leaves photography to play with the representation 
of form, while he, like El Greco, will subordinate, and 
if necessary, sacrifice or violate, form for the sake of the 
supreme end expression. 

Now to most people El Greco is insufferable. They 
don't like him and don't wish to; for he upsets their 
cherished maxim that a spade should resemble a spade. 
However, until you have not only appreciated what 
El Greco set out to do but are also enthusiastic over his 
achievement, you cannot begin to be in a position to 
study Matisse and many other moderns sympathetically, 
much less understandingly For Matisse is no more 
a freak or a crazy man than was El Greco. But there 
is this great difference between their motives. The 
Toledan artist's instinct was religious; and his expres- 
sion spiritual; while the expression and instinct of 
Matisse are alike governed by the senses. 

In the summer of 1910 I found him in his country 
studio working upon two large decorations, Dance 
and Music, for a private house in Russia. Each com- 
position involved a group of nudes seen upon a grassy 
summit, partly against the sky. The latter was blue; 
the grass a lively green and the figures vermilion; the 
pigments being pure from the tubes, except for some 
mixing of white to render the variety of tones. 

This choice of color scheme may have been sug- 
gested by the frequency with which it occurs in Russian 
pictures, where the landscape is quite usually enlivened 
by a red barn. The use of the vermilion for the 
figures occasions the eye a temporary shock, but reason 
suggests that it is only pushing some degrees further 



the decdrative convention of Puyis, who rendered his 
flesh colors in slightly lower tone than that of the reddish- 
brown ground. The effect, however, in Matisse's 
canvas is barbaric, which may well have been the artist's 
intention, and assists the primitive, elemental, one might 
almost say rudimentary, expression of the whole. For 
the rhythms of these dancing figures are those of in- 
stinct and nature. Matisse explains that he derived 
inspiration for them from watching the soldiers and 
ouvriers dancing with their sweethearts at the Moulin 
des Gaieties; and added that the ballet at the opera 
interested him but was too artificial; in fact too 
organise. He searches for the natural impression and 
then does the organizing for himself. And in the case 
of the Dance,, organization and simplification were 
schemed to produce an expression of purely physical 
abandonment of lusty forms to sense intoxication. 
Contrasted with the dynamic delirium of this canvas 
was the static character of the Music panel A nude 
youth stood erect playing a violin, the tension of his 
body as taut and vibrating as that of the strings. 
Beside him was seated a woman playing upon two 
pipes, the fluting freedom of the music being remarka- 
bly echoed in the mobile, willowy arabesque of the 
figure's torso and limbs. There was also a man who 
sang. His limbs were gathered up close to his body 
very much in the attitude of a jumper, while through 
the wide opening of the mouth his whole nature seemed 
to be draining out. There were other figures, but the 
above are sufficiently suggestive of the abstract char- 
acter of the conception and treatment. I understand 


that they have been changed, in order to approach more 
nearly the movement of the other canvas. 

This seems to me significant, for the Dance was 
animal in feeling, compared with the subtlety of ex- 
pression of the Music. It suggests that the bias of 
Matisse's imagination is physical; that it is deficient in 
the finer qualities. Even on the physical side he is 
gourmand rather than gourmet. In his technique he 
does not exhibit the Frenchman's sense of craftsman- 
ship; his surfaces and contours are as uncouth as those 
of his African wood carvings. 

To a considerable extent this is probably intentional, 
a means of discouraging the eye from dwelling upon 
externals and of drawing the imagination to the inner 
movement of the forms. Yet, if so, the purpose is 
but a part of the sophistication which seems to be the 
worm i ? the bud of Matisse's art. Perhaps inevitably; 
for a man trained in the traditions cannot strip himself 
naked of memories and experiences and profess to 
consort with aborigines without being conscious of a 
pose and without to some extent becoming a victim 
to it. But he is still in the vigor of his life; and may 
yet abandon the role of a protester and theorizer and 
follow implicitly and naturally the call of his instinct; 
not the instinct that he has tried to pare down to that 
of a primitive wood-cutter, but his own. 




IN a letter dated a year or so before Ms death 
Cezanne wrote: "I am too old; I have not real- 
ized; I shall not realize now. I remain the primi- 
tive of the way which I have discovered." What the 
way was is summarized hy his artist-friend, fimile 
Bernard, as "a bridge, thrown across conventional 
routine, by which impressionism may return to the 
Louvre and to the life profound." 

Cezanne was bom at Aix in Provence in 1839. 
Among his college friends was Zola with whom he 
shared a taste for literature and entered into rivalry 
in prose and poetic compositions* It was not until he 
visited Paris and was introduced by Zola to Courbet 
and Manet that his thoughts turned to painting. Soon, 
in favor of the latter, he renounced all other interests 
and settled down to that concentrated and patient study 
of nature and art which dominated the remainder of 
his life. 

He passed through a period of absorbing the influ- 
ence of others; by turns Delacroix, Daumier, Courbet 
and finally Manet, among whose followers he figured 
for a time conspicuously. Then he grew dissatisfied 
with impressionism and retired to Aix to prosecute his 
studies in seclusion. He ceased to exhibit and Paris 


had forgotten Ms existence, when in 1899 a number of 
his pictures appeared in the sale of his friend, M. 
Choquet's, collection. From this event dated his 
present reputation and the influence which he has 
exerted on Matisse and the still younger painters, who 
call him reverently, the Sage, He died at Aix in 

Cezanne's dissent from impressionism grew out of 
what he believed to be its two deficiencies. One antici- 
pated the later development of neo-impressionism, in 
so far as the latter has tried to substitute scientific cer- 
tainty for "instinct" and "inspiration." The other was 
a reaction from the flat arabesques of impressionism to 
a more constructive kind of composition; which should 
replace the fugitive effects with those of bulk and perma- 
nence. Impressionism was too much at the mercy of 
temperament, too preoccupied with the merely passing 
show. Hence its manifest inferiority to the great art 
of the past. 

On the other hand the latter ceased to be a living ex- 
pression with the passing of the life to which it had 
responded and the academic, classicalized attempt to 
perpetuate it artifically has resulted in "conventional 
routine." It was over this routine that Cezanne set 
himself to build a bridge, which should unite the throb- 
bing life of to-day with the noble art of the past, and let 
some of the profound life of Classic art pass across into 
the art of the present. 

No one will dispute the grandeur of the aim or the 
need of achieving it, if modern painting is ever to take 
rank not only with the great art of the past but also 



with the great works of the present in other departments 
of civilization. 

Cezanne recognized that modern painting in its 
eff ort to recover greatness was debarred for the most 
part from one source of Italian grandeur. It could no 
longer ally itself to the sumptuousness of that life and 
reinforce itself with the superb illustration of Biblical 
and mythological lore. It was compelled to be the ex- 
pression of a life whose main characteristic is a keen 
consciousness of actualities. The painter of to-day 
cannot soar into the clouds ; he must occupy himself with 
the actual perceptions of things as they are. He can, 
however, save himself from banality by relying upon 
his sensations, aroused by the perceptions, and by giv- 
ing to them a -concrete form. This, in fact, was what 
impressionism had done. 

How was it possible to alleviate the oppression of 
concreteness and increase the suggestion of the abstract 
sensations ; to reduce the appeal to the eye and magnify 
the claim on the imagination? 

Cezanne attacked the problem intellectually; taking 
account of the psychology of perceptions and analyz- 
ing them with the untiring scrutiny of the scientist. 
He reasoned, for example, that to move the spectator 
deeply the artist must have recourse to depth. In 
place of the flat arabesques of the impressionists he 
revived the concavities of composition. Further, he 
rejected the elements of form in flat geometrical de- 
signs, the triangle, rectangle and circle, in favor of the 
rounded forms, the cone, cylinder and sphere. He also 
adopted as an axiom that all forms in nature create a 


sensation of revolving upon themselves and around a 
point in space. 

In Ms analytical experiments with color Cezanne 
ran the gamut from dark to light. He early broke 
away from the impressionist's slavish adherence to the 
perceptions of color. It was the sensations excited by 
the perceptions that he aimed to render. Thus, in his 
early still-life pictures he would make his shadows in 
some cases as black as ink; and in his later figure-sub- 
jects never hesitate to throw up the roundness of a form 
by a dark line, that to the out-and-out impressionist is 
a horrible violation of nature's truth. And yet the 
amazing thing is that the net result in Cezanne im- 
presses us by its fidelity to nature. 

One may see a number of his figure-subjects in the 
collection of M. Pellerin and at the gallery of M. Vol- 
lard, a dealer whose rare instinct anticipated the genuine 
recognition of Cezanne's artistic significance. A few 
models have served him for his experiments, and they 
are placed against a slaty-gray background in clothes 
that chiefly repeat black, gray and dull blue. These 
and the flesh tints make up the color schemes. But, 
when you come to examine the quality of these hues, you 
find them threaded through and through with variety 
of hue and tone. His grays, for example, are a blend 
of rose and blue, often interspersed with yellow; a 
bloom of soft deep coloring, velvety in texture. The 
flesh tints are correspondingly complex, resulting in a 
texture as firm, colorful and luscious as fruit. Yet the 
faces are impassive and the figures uncouth, like roughly 



hewn chunks of form. The expression is in the eyes 
and hands which echo each other with an extraordinary 
unity of feeling that yet always allows predominance of 
accent to the head. 

Allusion has been made to Cezanne's pictures of still- 
life which in beauty of color and grandeur of feeling 
have probably never been surpassed. His landscapes, 
while commandingly natural, arouse sensations pro- 
foundly abstract. His groups of nudes in the open air, 
many of which suggest that he was acquainted with El 
Greco's art, sacrifice truth of form to the greater sig- 
nificance of movement. Viewed abstractly as symbols, 
the compositions are highly impressive, their expression 
mysteriously entrancing. 

In later work the influence of the southern sunshine 
is apparent. The positiveness of the colors becomes re- 
Solved in the circumambience of light; until in his water- 
colors, the unpremeditated analysis of a temporary 
perception, the merest washes, almost colorless, suggest 
the sensation of constructed planes of level land and 
mountains. Anything more reasonably interpretative 
and at the same time more abstract in sensation can 
scarcely be imagined. His watercolors probably come 
nearest to "realization" of all his work* 

But that Cezanne, as he admitted, neve/ fully real- 
ized himself is in the long story of French painting of 
little moment, when compared with his actual achieve- 
ment and its influence upon future progress. For his 
work involves a feeling of magnitude and profound sig- 
nificance such as no other modern painter has attained. 


It is these qualities that have impressed the younger 
generation and may yet enable it to construct solidly and 
for long time a "bridge across conventional routine, by 
which impressionism (and neo-impressionism also) may 
return to the Louvre and the life profound." 





Aachen. See Aix-la-Chapelle 

Academic. See classical 

Academic Frangaise, 54, 55 

Academy of Painting and Sculpture, 56, 62, 

63, 67, 68, 97 
Adam de la Halle, 11, 12 
Adrian, Pope, 16 

African aboriginal motive, 212, 216 
Aix-in-Provence, 217, 218 
Aix-la-Chapelle, 16 
Alexander the Great, 47 
Alexander VI, Pope, 7 
Allemans, 4 

America, 106, 125, 143 
American spirit, 77, 92 
Amiens, Museum of, 195 
Amman-Jean, Edouard, 190 ; Jeanne D'Arc, 

190; St. G-enevieve, 190 
Amyot, Jacques, 40 
Andelys, Les, 63 
Anet, Chateau d', 49 

Angels at the Tomb of Christ [Manet], 167 
Angelus, The [Millet], 155 
Anjou, 7 

Anne of Austria, 51 
Anne of Beaujeu, 7; Portrait of Anne of 

Beaujeu, 31 
Anne of Brittany, 7, 8 
Antwerp Museum, Pictures in: Foucquet, 

35; Van Orley, 42 
Aquitaine, 5 
"A Rebours," 202 
Aristocracy, 75, 77; aristocratic spirit i: 

painting, 91, 130 
Arthurian Legend, 10 
Assassination of the Duke of Guise [Dela- 

roche], 122 

Assumption of the Virgin. [Prud'hon], 100 
Audran, Claude, 72 
Augrand, Charles, 187 
Autumn [Poussin], 65 
Auvergne, 5 
"Aveugles, Les," 171 
Avignon, 32; papal palace of, 28; school 

of, 28 

Bal du Bois [Lancret], 79 

Balzac, 157 

Barbizon, 105, 128, 130, 131, 136, 137, 

139, 149, 150, 153, 155, 156, 161 
Barthelemy, Abbe, 93 

Bartholomew, Massacre of. See Massacre 
Bastien- Lepage, Jules, 158 

Battle of Solferino [Meissonicr], 123 

Baudelaire, 116, 202 

Bazoche du Palais, La, 13 

Beatrice [Bedon], 203 

Bellay, Du, 48 

Bellechose, Henri, 24 

Bellini, 32 

Beranger, 108 

Berlin, Museum, 35 ; royal palace, 73 

Berlioz, 191 

Bernard, fimile, 217 

Bernhardt, Sara, 171 

Bertin, 131, 132 

Besnard, Paul Albert, 204; Femme qui &e 

Chauffe, 205 ; portrait of Mile. Rejane, 

205 ; Decorations of the Sorbonne, 205 
Biblical subjects, 133, 190, 204, 219 
Bibliotheque Nationale, 23 
Bidassoa, River, 52 
Blanc, Charles, 167 
Boccaccio, 9, 11 

Bohemians de Paris [Daumier], 126 
Boileau, 54 
Bon de Boulogne, 61 
Bonaparte. See Napoleon 
Bonaparte on the Bridge at Arcola [Gros], 

Bonaparte Visiting the Plague -stricken at 

Jaffa [Gros], 109 
Bonheur, Mme. Rosa, 147 
Bonington, Richard Parkes, 131 
Bossuet, 55 t 59 

Bossuet, Portrait of [Bigaud], 59 
Boston Public Library, 199 
Boucher, Francois, 80, 81, 94, 100 
Bpuguereau, William Adolphe, 122, 151 
Bourbonf Antoine de, 46; house of, 47, 105 
Bourdon, Sebastien, 61 
Bourgeoise, 7, 120, 165 
Boy with a Sword [Manet], 167 
Brahms, 191 
Breton, Jules, 157 
Brittany, 206 
Browning, Robert, 164 
Brunet, G., 167 

Bude, Guillaume (Budaeus), 40 
Burger-Thore, 116, 131, 167 
Burgundian School of Painting, 31 
Burgundians, 4 
Byzantium, Byzantine influence, 16, 21, 

22, 24, 30 

Cabanel, Alexandre, 122 
Calvin, 9, 39, 40 



Camera, The, 124 

Canada, A French Colony, 41, 75 

Canova, 100 

Capet, Hugh, 4, 5; Capetian dynasty, 6 

Caravaggio, 61, 167, 177 

Carlo vingian dynasty, 4, 51 

Carriere, Eugene, 193, 194; Maternity, 

193 ; Crucifixion, 193 
Carthusian monks depicted, 30 
Carder, Jacque, 41 
Cathedrals, building of, 18 
Catholic Church, 45, 46, 57, 75 
Cazin, Jean Charles, 189; Hagar and Ish- 

mael in the Wilderness, 190 
Cellini, Benvenuto, 42, 49 
Celts, 4, 5, 10, 38, 77 
Cezanne, Paul, 211-217 
Chamagne, Chateau de, 65 
Champagne, Philippe de, 63 
Chansons de Gestes, 9, 10 
Chansons de Roland, 10 
"Chantecler," by M. Kostand, 11 
Chantilly, 34 
"Characteristics of Men, Opinions and 

Times" [Earl of Shaftsbury], 118 
Chardin, Jean Baptiste Sime"on, 70, 81, 86, 

88, 89 ; The Ray Fish, 88 
Charenton, 116 
Charivari, Drawings for, 126 
Charlemagne, 4, 10, 16 
Charles II of Spain, 52 
Charles VI of France, 34 
Charles VII of France, Portrait of [Fouc- 

quet], 34 
Charles VIII, 7 
Charles IX, 44, 45; portrait of [Olouet], 

Charlet, Nicolas Toussaint, 124; Episode 

in the Retreat from Russia, 124 
Chateaubriand, 106, 107, 121 
Chivalry, 6 

Choquet, M., Sale of the collection of, 218 
Chrestien de Troyes, 10 
Christ Dead [Primitive], 24 
Christianity, 15 
Claretie, Jules, 170 
Classic, 66, 67, 93, 118, 132, 133, 134, 

Classical, 63, 93, 97, 101, 103, 104, 105, 

108, 110, 112, 115, 116, 121, 126, 

129, 132, 138, 149, 151, 161, 164, 

168, 182 

Clement, Jacques, 46 
Clotilda, 15 
Clouet, Francois, 43, 44; Portrait of 

Charles IX, 44 
Clouet, Jean, 43; Portrait of Francois I, 


Clovis, 4, 5 

Colbert, Minister of Finance, 53 
Coligny, Admiral, Portrait of, 45 
Color, 98, 101, 102, 113, 114, 133, 142, 

144, 175, 176, 182, 193, 198, 220 
Color, Division of, 183, 184 
Comedie Francaise, 68 
Confraternity of the Passion, 12 
Constable, John, 114, 115, 131, 133, 134, 

136, 137, 138, 139, 141; The Say 

Wain, 136, 142, 143, 145, 146, 157, 

167, 175, 176 
"Contes" of La Fontaine, 11 
Conversation Galante [Lancret], 79; 

Conversation Galante [Pater], 79 
Corneille, 54, 55 

Coronation of Napoleon [David], 108 
Corot, Jean Baptiste Camille, 67, 121, 

131-136, 142, 143, 149, 197 
Correggio, 100, 144 

Courbet, Gustave, 160-165, 166, 168; 

,#&e Stone-Breakers, 160, 163, 180, 

* "*2T7 ,* Funeral at Ornans, 160, 163, 

168; Grisettes Lying on the Banks of 

the Seine, 164; Le Reveil, 164 
Cousin, Jean, 42 ; Last Judgment, 42 
Couture, Thomas, 122, 161, 166; Romans 

of the Decadence, 122, 161 
C6te de Granville [Rousseau], 131, 136 
Cottet, Charles, 159 
Credi, Lorenzo di, 200, 201 
Croix, Chapel of St., 200 
Cross, Henri Edmond, 183, 186 
Crozat, 72 

Crucifixion [Carriere], 193 
Crusades, 6 

"Cry of the Soil, The," 155 
Cupids Reposing, Cupids Sporting [Frago- 

nard], 81 
Cuyp, Albert, 66 

Dance, The [Matisse], 214 

Dante's Bark [Delacroix], 112, 114, 115 

Danton, 96 

"Darklings," School of, 177 

Daubigny, Charles Francois, 121, 126, 134, 
^ 143, 145 ; The Timber-Wagon, 145 

Daumier, Honore, 125, 126, 152,_X53; 

Olasse, 125 ; Emotions Parisiennes, 
Bohtmiens de Paris, Histoire Ancienne, 
Le Ventre Legislatif, 126 

David, Jacques Louis, 91, 93, 94, 95; offi- 
cial authority n fine arts, 96; adopts 
Greek model, 99; master of Ingres, 
101, 108, 109, 113, 117; Oath of the 
Horatii, 91, 94, 112; Rape of the 
Saoine Women, 99; Portrait of Mme. 
Re"camier, 99 ; Coronation of Napoleon, 

Days of the Terror, 76 

Debussy, 171 

Decadence of the Fin-de-Siecle, 208 

Decameron, 9 

Decamps, Alexandre, 127; Niffht Patrol 
at Smyrna, The Watering Place, 127 

ajas, Edgar Hillaire Germain, 170, 172., 
L74, 175, 181, 197, 207 
acroix, Ferdinand Victor Eugene. 81, 
110-120, 126, 130, 142, 143, HU, 
168, 175, 176, , 177, 183, 184, 186, 
217; Dante's Bark, 112, 114, 115; 
The Massacre of Chios, 114, 115; 
Horses Fighting in a Stable, Medea, 

Delaroche, Paul, 121, 149; Assassination 
of the Duke of Guise, Oliver Cromwett 
Viewing the Body of Charles I, The 
Young Princes in the Tower, Hemicycle 
of the Arts, 122 
Denis, Maurice, 200, 201 
Deposition, The [Primitive], 26; com- 
pared with Pieta, 29 



Descartes, 55 

Descartes, Portrait of [Bourdon], 61 

Desportes, Frangois, 61 

Diana [Goujon], 49 

Diane, 50 

Diane de Poitiers, 48 

Diaz, de la Pena, Narcisse Virgile, 121, 

143, 144, 145 

Diderot, 70, 87; estimate of Chardin, 89 
Dieterle, Mme. Marie, 47 

i, . ri, --, 

Dimanche sitr le Grande- Jatte [Seurat], Flanders, 5, 17 

Feminine influence in government, 8, 9, 51 

Feminine representation in painting, 36, 81 

Femnte qui se Chauffe [Besnard], 205 

Fete Galante [Pater], 79 

FSte in a Park [Pater], 79 

FSte in a Wood [Lancret], 79 

Fetes Galantes, 70, 73, 78, 86 

Feudal system, 5 ; disintegration of, 7, 8 

Fielding Copley, 131 

Fin-de-Siecle, 202 


Division of color, 183, 184 
Division of touch, 186 

Flaubert, 202, 204 

Flemish School, 31, 63; influence of, 167 

Florence, 76; art of, 195 

JLJ1V1SIUU Ul LUUW11, J.OO * 1V1WUU5, 1 V> , ttXU \Ji t -LUvf 

Drama, 13 ; influence on early pictures, Fontainebleau, court at, 9 ; Italian painters 

25; classical, 55; romantic, 105 
Drevet, 59 
Du Barry, Mme., 75 
Dubois-Pillet, Albert, 184 

eupre, Jules, 121, 129, 143, 144, 145 
uranty, 168 
Duret, Theodore, 184 

East, civilization of, 6 

Ecole des Beaux- Arts, 97, 122, 166 

Edge of the Forest Sunset [Rousseau], 141X* 

Edict of Nantes, 47 

Edwin Edwards and his Wife, Portrait of 
[Fantin-Latour], 192 

El Greco, 214, 221 

Eliot George, 171 

Elizabeth of Austria, 44 

Embarkation for the Island of Cythera 
[Watteau], 68, 73 

Emotions Parisiennes [Daumier], 126 

Enfants Sans Souci, Les, 13 

England, war with, 6, 75; influence on 
French painting, 114, 115, 137 

Entombment, The [Primitive], 24 

Ephrussi, Charles, 168 

Epic of Arthur, 14 

Episode in the Retreat front Russia [Char- 
let], 124 

Erasmus, 40 

Escorial, 57 

Esprit gaulois, 10, 36, 58, 68, 71, 7^3, 76, 
77, 78, 89, 99, 100, 128, 132 

Esprits Doux, 55 

Etampes, Duchesse d% 47 

Et Ego in Arcadia [Poussin], 64 

Etienne Chevalier, 34 

Etienne Chevalier, Portrait of [FoucquetJ, 

, 35 

Etiennes, 40 

Expression, 117, 185, 197, 198, 212, 213* 

Fables of La Fontaine, 54 

"Fabliaux," 10 t 13 

Fantin-Latour, Henri, 191, 192, 193; Par- 

0.11 1111- JuO.lUU.1 , JLJICUll, JL7JL, JU{7, J.27CT , X VI ~ * ***** w*, 

trait of Manet, 192; Portrait of Ed- Francis II, 45 

at, 23, 42; school of, 47, 50; forest of, 
105, 130, 131 

Fool Companies, 13 

Forain, 207 

Forge, The [Le Nain], 62 

Form in art, 98, 101 

Foucquet, Jean, 25, 83-36; Portrait of 
Charles VII, 34; Portrait of Juvenal 
des "Ursine, 34; Portrait of Etienne 
Chevalier with St. Stephen, 35; Vir- 
gin and Child, 35 

Four Seasons, The [Lancret], 79 

Fragonard, Jean Honore, 78> 81, 181, 
182 ; Le Grand Pretre Croesus s& Sacri- 
fie pour Sauver Calirrhoe, 81; Cupids 
Sporting, 81; Cupids Resting, 81; 
Women Bathing, 181 

France, before Renaissance, 3 ; formation, 
of kingdom, 4 ; Oapetian dynasty, 5 ; 
crusades and English war, 6; feudal 
system, 71 ; union with Brittany and 
Anjou, 71; Charlemagne, 16; cathe- 
drals "built, 18; development of paint- 
ing, 21; conditions at the accession of 
Charles VII, 34; Renaissance, 37; 
religious conditions, 38 ; printing press, 
39; scholarship, 39, 40; colonial ac- 
tivity, 41; patronage of art and letters, 
41; Charles IX, 44, 45; Henri II, 45; 
Catherine de* Medici, 45; Catholics 
and Huguenots, 45; Henri III, 45; 
power of the Guises, 46; St. Barthol- 
omew, 46; profligacy at court, 46; 
the League, 47; Henri IV, 47; in- 
fluence of Diane de Poitiers, 48; Louis 
XIII, influence of Richelieu, Mazarin, 
52; marriage of Louis XIV, 53; Col- 
bert, 53 ; war of the Spanish Succession, 
53 ; art and letters, 54 ; coterie or 
salon, 55; Louis XV, 70; the regency, 
71 ; reign of Louis XV. 74 ; decline, 75 ; 
frivolity of Louis XVI, 92; spirit of 
independence, 92; the Roman ideal, 
92; confusion of the revolution, 96; 
Napoleon, 96; revolution of 1830, 105; 
Louis Philippe, 120 ; revolution of 1848, 
120; second empire, 120; Sedan, 123; 
Franco-Prussian war, 170 

Francis I, accession, 3, 45, 46, 47; por- 
traits of, 43 

win Edwards and his Wife, 192 
Farces, 13 
Father Reading the Bible to his Children, A 

fGreuze], 86 

Father's Curse, The [Greuze], 86 
Faust, 115 

Franco- Prussian War, 170 

Prankish strain, 4, 17 

French race, 4 

Froment, Nicolas, 32 

Fromentin, Eugene, 128, 136 

Funeral at Ornans [Courbet], 160, 168 



Gallic spirit. See esprit gaulois 

Gallic strain, 5 

Gascony, 5 

Gauguin, Paul, 206 

Gautier, Theophile, 105, 108, 116, 181, 

Gellee, Claude. See Lorrain 

Genevieve, Ste., 190; Cycle of [Puvis], 
198, 199 

"Genius of Christianity, The," 166 

Genius of the French, 3, 14, 50, 55, 56, 
58, 63, 98, 119, 137, 138, 140, 180, 

Geometric composition, 20, 26, 173, 219 

Gerard, Baron Francois Pascal, 99, 101, 

117 * 

,,,GericauIt, Theodore, 110, 111, 114, 120; 
A*n Officer of the Chasseur Guarde, 
111; The Wounded Cuirassier, 111; 
The Raft of the Medusa, 111, 112; 
The Race for the Derby, 113 

Germain, Faubourg St., 71, 200 

German influence in art, 204 

German Romanticists, 115 

German strain, 5 

Gerome, Leon, 122 

Gillaumin, 170 

GHlot, Claude, 72 

Giotto, 22, 28, 195, 197 

Girodet, Anne Louis, 101, 110, 117 

Gleaners, The [Millet], 153 

Goethe, 107, 115 

Goncourts, The, 202 

Gothic strain, 4; influence of, 107 

Goujon, 49 

Goya, 142 

Grand Monarque, Le, 53, 68, 73, 75, 76, 

Grand style, 115, 126, 162 

Grand Trianon, 75 

Greek colonies, 4 

Greek ideal, The, 93, 98, 99, 130, 132, 
134, 150, 151, 153, 190 

Greek spirit, 65, 115, 118 

Greuze, Jean Baptiste, 71, 86, 87, 88, 89 ; 
The 'Village Bride, 86; A. Father 
Reading the Bible to his Children, 86 ; 
A Father's Curse, 86; The Son Chast- 
ened, 86 

Gringoire, Pierre, 113 

Grisettes Lying on the Bank of the Seine 
[Oourbet], 164 

Grolier, Jean, 39 

Gros, Jean, 109, 115, 124; Bonaparte on 
the Bridge at Arcola, 109; Bonaparte 
Visiting the Plague-stricken at Jaffa, 
109; Napoleon at Eylau, 109; Her- 
cules Causing Diomedes to "be De- 
voured, 110; Battle of the Pyramids, 

Gruchy, 149 

Guerin, Pierre Narcisse, 110 
Guise, Duke of, 45, 46, 47 
Guitarist, The [Manet], 167 
Guizot, 108, 121 


Hagar and Ishmael in the Wilderness 
[Gazm], 190 

Hague Gallery, 144 

Hals, Frans, 152 

Hameau, Le, 91 

Hamon, Jean Louis, 161 

Harpignies, Henri, 67 

Hay Wain [Constable], 136 

Hemicycle of the Arts [Delaroche], 122 

Henri II, 45, 47, 48 

Henri III, 45 

Henri IV, 46, 47 

Heptameron, The, 9 

Hercules Causing Diomedes to be Devoured 

by his own Horses [Gros], 110 
Histoire Andenne [Daumier], 126 
"History of the Art of Antiquity," 93 
Hoar Frost, The [Rousseau], 143 
Hobbema, 177 
Holbein, 43, 161 
Holland, 76, 92, 121, 129; influence of, 

133, 136, 137, 138, 146, 147 m 

Horses Fighting in a Stable [Delacroix], 1 


Huet, Paul, 128 
Hugo, Victor, 105, 108, 112, 116, 118, 


Huguenots, 45, 51 
Hundred Years* War, 6 
Huysmans, J. K., 202, 204 


Ibsen, 159 

Ideal in art, The, 139, 140, 161 

Illumination, 17, 21 

Impressionism, 99, 142, 152, 166-179, 
181, 182, 183, 184, 188, 212, 217. 
218, 222 

Ingres, Jean Auguste Dominique, 44, 101- 
104, 161, 167, 174, 181, 192, 193; CEdi- 
pus and the Sphinx, 101; La Source, 
102 ; Portrait of Madame Riviere, 102. 
44; Portrait of H. Bertin, 103; Odal- 
isque Bathing, 167, 181; Le Bain 
Turc, 181 

Italian comedy, 73, 74 

Italian Comedy Scene [Lancret], 79 

Italian culture, 7; influence of, 10, 15, 
37, 41, 43, 48, 50, 58, 60, 63, 67, 73, 
81, 100, 101, 132, 139, 161, 204 

Italian Renaissance, 3, 21. 22, 126 

Ivry, 47 

Jacque, Charles, 147 

Japanese art, 21; Japanese influence, 21. 

172, 173, 207 
jean Juvenal des Ursins 3 Group Portrait 

[Primitive], 32, 34 
Jeanne D'Arc, 6, 35 
Josephine, Portrait of the Empress 

[Prud'hon], 100 
Justice and Vengeance Pursuing Crime 

[Prud'hon], 100 

Lacaze collection, 73 

La Farge, John, 143, 206 

La Fontaine, 54 



Lagilliere, Nicolas, 58, 60, 83 

Lamartine, 108 

Lancret, Nicolas, 78; Bal du Bois, 79; 

Fete in a Wood, 79; Conversation 

Galante, 79; Italian Comedy Scene, 

79; Seasons, 79 
Langue d'Oc, Langue d'Oil, 5 
La Rochefoucauld, 55 
Last Communion and Martyrdom of St. 

Denis [Primitive], 23 
Last Judgment [Cousin], 42 
Last Judgment [Van Orley], 42 
Latin strain, 3, 4, 5, 57 
La Touche, Gaston, 205 
League, The, 47, 51 
Le Brun, 57 

Le Brun, Mme. Vigee, 92 
Lecouvreur, Adrienne, 68 
Lefort, Paul, 167 
"Le Jus de la Feuille," 13 
Lely, Sir Peter " " 

JUCiy, Oil" JT CLCl , 60 

Lemoine, 73, 80 

LeNain, Antoine, 61; Louis, 61; Matthieu, .., t 

61; The Forge, 62; Rustic Meal, 62; Majasse, Henri, 210, 211-216, 
Return of the Hay-makers, 62; Pro- a ^*^Dance t Music, 214, 215, 216 

Manet, douard, 102, 145, 152, 166-170, 
176, 177, 180, 217; The Guitarist, 167; 
The Boy with a Sword, 167; The 
Angels at the Tomb of Christ, 167; 
Olympia, 102, 167; The Picnic, 168 

Manet, Portrait of [Fantin-Latour], 192 

Mantz, Paul, 116 

Marat, 96, 209 

Marguerite of France, 47 

Maria Leczinski, 74 

Maria Luisa, of Spain, 52 

Marie Antoinette, 75, 91 

Marriage at Cana, The [Veronese], 117 

Massacre of Chios [Delacroix], 114, 115 

Massacre of St. Bartholomew, 45, 46 

"Marble manner," 94 

Margaret of Navarre, 9 

"Marguerites de la Marguerite La Prin- 
cesse, Les," 9 

Marilhat, Prosper, 127 

Marot, Clement, 9 

Materialism, 188, 199 

Maternity [CarriereJ, 193_ 

cession in a Church, 62 

Le Notre, 57 

Le Reveil [Courbet], 164 

Le Suer, 61 

Ligurian strain, 45 

Loge, La [Renoir], 180 

Lorrain, Claude Gellee, 63-66, 140 

Louis Philippe, 57, 120, 126 

Louis the Pious, 4 

Louis XI, 33, 51, 52 

Louis XII, 7; drama flourished Tinder, 13 

Louis XIII, 51, 57 

Louis XIV, 8, 52, 54, 56, 57, 58 

Louis XIV, Portrait of [Rigaud], 58 

Louis XV, 68, 71, 74 

Louis XVI, 91 

Louis XVIII, 105 

Louise of Savoy, 9 

Louvre, court at, 9; pictured, 27; deco- 
rations, 47; Salon, 131 

Louvre, Gallery of, 22, 28; primitive por- 
traits, 31; Foucquet, 34; Cousin, 42; 
Chiet, 43; Titian, 43; Ingres, 44, 101, 
102, 103; Goujon, 49; school of Fon- 
tainebleau, 50; Rigaud, 58; Lagilliere, 
60; Bourdon, 61; Le Nain, 62; Pous- 
sin, 64, 65 ; Watteau, 73 ; Lancret, 79 ; 
Chardin, 88; David, 99; Gerard, 99; 
Prud'hon, 100; Manet, 102, 167; De- 
camps, 127; Rousseau, 141; Prago- 
nard, 181 

Luce, Maximilian, 184, 186 

Luxembourg, gardens of, 70; palace of, 
71, 72, 81, 101, 193 


Machiavelli, 45 

Maeterlinck, 171 

Maintenon, Mme. de, 8, 

"Maitre d'Autrefois," 1 

Malherbe, 54 

Mallarme, 202 

Malouel, Jean, 24 

Manchester International Exhibition, 167 


Mayer, Constance, 100; The "Unfortunate 
Family, 199 

Mayors of the palace, 4 

Mazarin, Cardinal, 52, 53 

Medea [Delacroix], 118 

Medici, Catherine de', 45, 46 

Medici, Marie de, 47, 51, 72, 81 

Meier-Graefe, quoted, 136, 145, 203 

Meissonier, Jean Louis Ernest, 123, 124, 
125, 170; Battle of Solferino, 123 

Memmi, Simone, 28 

"Men of 1330," 105, 107, 108 

Menard, Rene, 190; Portrait of Louis 
Henard, 190 

"Mercure," quotation from, 84 

Merovingian dynasty, 4 

Mesdag Museum, 146 

Metropolitan Museum, 127, 164, 167 

Michel, Georges, 128, 129 

Michelangelo, 49, 117, 126 

Michelet, 108, 121 

Midnight Review, The [Raffet], 124 

Millet, Jean Francois, 67, 121, 126, 135, 
136, 138, 149-157, 159, 161, 191, 
197; The Winhoufer, The Sower, 150, 
153; The Gleaners, 153; The Angelus, 

Miniaturists, 21 

Mirabeau, 96 

Moliere, 56 

Monclair, Canaille, quoted, 138 

Monet, Claude, 170, 172, 176-179; land- 
scapes at Vetheuil on Seine, Belle-Isle, 
Thames in London, Rouen Cathedral, 

Monnoyer, Jean Baptiste, 61 

Montesquieu, 70 

Monticelli, Adolphe, 145, 191, 192 

Montmartre, 23, 129 

Morality plays, 12 

Moreau, Gustave, 202, 204; The Appari- 
tion, 204; The Cycle of Man, of 
Woman, of the Lyre, of Death, 204 

Musset, Alfred de, 108, 112, 124 

Mystery and miracle plays, 12, 21; influ- 
ence on painting, 25, 42 

"Mystery of Ste. Apollonia," 25 




Nadar's Gallery, 170 

Naples, 65 

Napoleon at Eylau [Gros], 109 

Napoleon Bonaparte, 96, 100, 108, 109, 

111, 123, 125 
Napoleon III, 123 
National Gallery, 192 
Nattier, Jean Marc, 83, 84, 86; Portrait 

of Queen Marie LeczinsJcy and her 

Daughters, 83 
Naturalism, 94, 99, 149, 150, 157, 158, 

159, 161, 181, 188 
Nature as a motive, 132, 136, 150 
Neo-Greek, 161 

Neo-impressionism, 183, 187, 216, 222 
Nerac, court at, 9 
Niccolo del'Abbate, 42, 47 
Night Patrol at Smyrna [Decamps], 127 
Nominalists, 158 
Normandy, 4, 5, 63, 110 
Notan, 173 

"Nouvelle Heloise, La," 87 
Nymph of Fontainebleau [Cellini], 49 

Oath of the Horatii [David], 91, 94, 112 
Odalisque Bathing [Ingres], 102 
Oedipus and the Sphinx [Ingres], 101 
Officer of the Chasseur Guarde [Geri- 

cault], 111 
Official patronage of the arts and learning, 

41, 56, 69, 91, 96, 123 
Oliver Cromwell Viewing the Body of 

Charles I [Delaroche], 122 
Olympia [Manet], 102 
Orient, The, influence of the, 118, 125, 

126, 127 

Orleans, Duke of, 64, 68 
Orleans, Maid of, 6 
Ortes, Les, 200, 201 
Ostade, Van, 161 

Philippe le Bon, Portrait of, 31 

Picnic, The [Manet], 168 

Pietd [primitive], 28, 30 

Pissarro, Camille, 170, 172, 176, 177, 183 

Pissarro, Lucien, 183 

Planche, Gustave, 116, 131 

"Plutarch's Lives," 40 

Poe, Edgar Allan, 203 

Pointilliste, 186 

Poland, 75 

Pompadour, Madame de, 75, 80, 83 

Pont-Aven, School of, 206 

Portrait of a Woman [primitive], 33 

Poussin, Nicolas, 63-66, 133, 134; Et Effo 
in Arcadia, 64; Time Shelters Truth, 
64; Summer, 65; Spring, the Earthly 
Paradise, 65; Autumn, 66 

Precieuses, Les, 55 

"Precieuses Ridicules, Les," 56 

Primaticcio, 42, 47 

Primitives, 22-26, 195, 200, 206, 212, 

"Prince des Sots," 13 

Printing press, first, 39 

Prix de Rome, 80, 81, 94 

Procession in a Church [Le Nam], 62 

Prout, Samuel, 131 

Provengal poetry, 10 

Provence, 5 

Prud'hon, Pierre, 99, 100, 101, 193; 
Venus and Adonis, 100; Rape of 
Psyche, 100; The Swinging Zephyr, 
100; Justice and "Vengeance Pursuing 
Crime, 100; Portrait of the Empress 
Josephine, 100; Crucifixion, 100; As- 
sumption of the Virgin, 100 

Puvis de Chavannes, 195-200, 201, 206, 
215; War, Peace, 195, 196; Cycle of 
Ste. Genevieve, 198; Inter Artes et 
Naturam, 198; Winter, 199 

"Questions sur Le Beau," 131 

Pantheon, 196 

Parc-au-Cerfs, 76 

Paris, 26, 37, 136, 142, 152, 166, 173, 


Paris, Duke of, 5 

Parisian types, 126, 174, 190, 207 
"Pastourelles," 13 
Pater, Jean Baptiste Joseph, 79; FSte in a 

Park, 79; Conversation Qalante, 79; 

Fete Galante, 79 
"Pathelin," 13 
Pavia, defeat of, 9 
Paysage intime > 121, 129-148, 167 
Peace [Puvis de Chavannes], 195, 196 
Pellerin, Collection of M., 220 
Penumbra, 189 
Pepin, 4 

Petersburg Museum, 136 
Petit jean, Hippolyte, 184, 186 
Pheasants, Isle of, 52 
Philip II of Spain, 67 
Philip IV of Spain, 52 
Philip the Fair, 28 


Race -for the Derby [Gericault], 112 

Racine, 54, 116 

Raffaelli, Jean Francois, 159 

Raffet, Denis Auguste Marie, 124; Mid- 
night Review, 124 

Raft of the Medusa, The [Gericault], 111, 

Rambouillet, Hotel de, 55 

Rape of Psyche [Prud'hon], 100 

Rape of the SaUne Women [David], 99 

Raphael, 64, 101, 117, 161 

Ravaillac, 47 

Ravenna, 16 

Ray Fish, The fChardin], 88 

Realism, 99, 109, 158, 160-165 

Recamier, Madame, 99 

Recamier, Portrait of Mme. [David], 99 

Redon, Odilon, 203; Beatrice, 203 

Re jane, Portrait of [Besnaxd], 205 

Renoir, Auguste, 170, 173, 180-182; La 
Loge, 180,^81 

Rhythm, 150, 213 

Ribera, 161 



Rodin, 153 

Romanticism, 81, 99, 101, 105, 106, 108- 

130, 143, 145, 167, 168, 186, 188 
Rood, Professor, 177, 183 
Rossini, 191 
Rousseau, Theodore, 121, 131-142, 145, 

149; Cott de Granmlle, 131, 136; 

Edge of the Forest Sunset, 141, 142; 

Hoar Frost, 143 
Ruysdael, Jacob, 133, 137, 138, 177 

Thierry, 108 

Thiers, 116, 121 

"Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek 

Works in Painting and Sculpture," 93 
Timber- Wagon, The [Daubigny], 145 
Time Shelters Truth [Poussin], 64 
Titian, portrait of Francis I by, 43 
Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de, 207 
Troyan, Constant, 146 
Turner, Joseph Mallord William, 176 

Saint-Beuve, 108, 116 

Saint- Just, 96 

Saintsbury, quoted, 6, 10, 56, 59 

"Salammbo," 202, 204 

Salle des Fetes, 47 

Salon Carre, 59 

"Salon des Impressionistes," 170 

Salon d'Hercule, 80 

Salqn, The, 86, 91, 101, 105, 111, 114, 

124, 129, 131, 160, 200 
Sarto, Andrea del, 42 
Scaliger, 40 
Scarron, 53 
Schiller, 107 
Scott, Sir Walter, 107 
Scourging of Christ [primitive], 25 
Scudery, Mile., 56 
Sedan, 123 
Segantini, 186 
Seurat, George, 177, 183, 186; TJn Di- 

manche & la Grande-Jatte, 183 
Sevigny, Madame de, 56 
Shaftsbury, Earl of, quoted, 118, 150 
Shakespeare, influence of, 37, 40, 55, 

107, 115, 117, 150 
Sidaner, Henri, 191 
Siecle, Le Grand, 54, 57, 83 
Signac, Paul, 183-186 
Simon, Lucien, 159 
Simplification of Puvis, 196; of Matisse, 


170, 179 


Ukiyoye, 173 

Son Chastened, The [Greuze], 86 
Sorbonne, The, 100; decorations in, 99, 


Sorel, Agnes, 36 
Soto, De, 41 
"Sotties,** 13 

Source, La [Ingres], 102 
Sower, The [Millet], 151 
Spanish Succession, War of, 52, 53 
Spartan ideal, 92 

Spring, the Earthly Paradise [Poussin], 65 
Stael, Madame de, 106, 107; "Corinne," 

107; "Delphine," 107; "Literature 

Considered in its Relation to Social 

Institutions," 107 
Sterling-Maxwell, Sir William, 167 
Stone-Breakers, The [Courbet], 160, 163 
Summer [Poussin], 65 
Swinging Zephyr [Prud'hon], 100 

Tahiti, 206 
Theatre Francais, 13 

Valliere, Mme. de, 53 

Valois, House of, 6, 46 

Van Dyck, 177 

Van Loo, Charles Andre (Carl), 85, 86 

Van Loo, Charles Andre Philippe, 85 

Van Loo, Jean Baptiste, 80, 85 

Van Loo, Louis Michel, 85 

Van Marcke, fimile, 147 

Van Orley, Last Judgment compared wira 

Cousin, 42 
Varley, John, 131 
Velasquez, 24, 52, 117, 152, 161, 167, 

168, 173, 174, 176, 180, 193 
Venetian art, 76, 113, 168 
Vent re Legislatif, Le [Daumier], 126 
Venus and Adonis [Prud'hon], 10$ 
Verlaine, Paul, 202 
Vermeer of Delft, 89; Diana and her 

Nymphs, 144 

Vernet, Horace, 111, 125; Mazeppa, 125 
Veronese, Paul, 117 
Versailles, 56, 57, 71, 75, 80, 91 
Versailles Gallery, 83, 125 
Vien, Joseph Marie, 93 
Vigny, Alfred de, 108 
Village Bride, The [Greuze], 86 
Ville d'Avray, 136 
Vinci, Leonardo da, 42 
Viollet-le-duc, quoted, 21 
Virgil, 149, 150 

Virgin and Child [Fouequet]. 35 
Vollard Gallery, 220 
Voltaire, 59 
"Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis," 92 


Wace, 11 

Wagon de Troisieme Classe [Daumier] 


Wallace Collection, 81 
Walters Collection, 143 
War [Puvis de Chavannes], 195 
Watteau, Antoine, 58, 72^-74, 81, 82, 100, 

113, 134, 192, 205 ^Embarkation for 

the Island of Cythera, 68, 73; GilUs, 

73, 74 

Whistler, 170 
"Wild Men, The," 211 
Winckelmann, "History of the Art of 


Antiquity," 93; "Thoughts on the Y 

Imitation of Greek Works in Painting . Mtf ,***** .*&.**, >rr. r^ , 

and Sculpture " 93 94 Young Princes in the Tower, The [Dela- 
Winnower, The [Millet], 150, 153 rocaej, 122 

Winter [Puvis de Chavannes], 199 <j 

Women Bathing [Fragonard], 181 " 

World's Exposition of 1855, 160 Zpla, 168, 170, 171, 217 

Wounded Cuirassier [G6ricault], 111 Zurbaraa, 30, 161